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The development of psychopathology in females and males: Current progress and future challenges

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 September 2003

In recent years, the role of gender in the development of psychopathology has increasingly attracted the attention of researchers, theoreticians, and other professionals interested in the well-being of children and adolescents. This interest has taken diverse forms, ranging from the examination of sex differences in the prevalence of adjustment difficulties to the exploration of unique etiologies and trajectories in the development of psychopathology for boys versus girls. In this paper we (a) critically examine the current status of available theories, research, and methods related to the study of gender and psychopathology and provide recommendations for future work; (b) identify promising new trends that appear to have utility for enhancing our understanding of the role of gender in the development of adjustment difficulties; and (c) generate conclusions regarding gender and psychopathology by integrating information from past and present work with new ideas about fruitful directions for future inquiry.

Corresponding author
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Nicki R. Crick, 51 East River Road, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455; E-mail:; or Carolyn Zahn–Waxler, 1202 West Johnson Street, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 52706,
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Development and Psychopathology
  • ISSN: 0954-5794
  • EISSN: 1469-2198
  • URL: /core/journals/development-and-psychopathology
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