The diversity and richness of the contributions to this volume bespeak a bright future for the study of risk and protective factors in the development of various types of psychopathology. Here are to be found excellent chapters devoted to (a) a range of disorders, including schizophrenia, depression, organic pathology, bulimia, and AIDS, as seen from (b) a varied set of disciplines that include clinical and developmental psychology, epidemiology, neuropsychology, genetics, psychiatry, and pediatric neurology, evaluated (c) by a set of varied investigative modes, including case studies, personality and diagnostic assessments, cross-sectional and longitudinal research methods, and experimental laboratory studies.
How, then, to reflect on the future of a field capable of embracing such heterogeneity? To suggest the content of a future scientific agenda for such an emergent discipline would be presumptuous, but at age 71 that may be permitted, or at least forgivable. A dedication to the view that developmental psychopathology is a wave of the future may be the needed cachet for writing this closing statement.
In any case, if editors command, one has to listen. And these editors – Jon Rolf, Ann Masten, Dante Cicchetti, Keith Nuechterlein, and Sheldon Weintraub – are very special people in my life-span development. Once they were former graduate students, later they were research colleagues, and always they have been valued friends. They have invited me to try my hand at a closing commentary.
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