Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Types and continua in developmental psychopathology: Problem behaviors in school and their relationship to later antisocial behavior

  • Lars R. Bergman (a1), Henrik Andershed (a2) and Anna-Karin Andershed (a2)

In the study of developmental psychopathology a dimensional, variable-oriented approach dominates over a typological approach. With the person-oriented research paradigm providing the metatheoretical framework, pros and cons of these two approaches are discussed, and it is pointed to different methodological realizations of the typological approach, and to the contexts where they might be appropriate. It is also pointed out that the two important and underused concepts of equifinality and multifinality with advantage can be incorporated in a person-oriented approach. An empirical example is given of the study of the structure of early adolescent problem behaviors and their relationship to later criminality where dimensional as well as typological analyses are carried out. The usefulness of the typological approach in studying the development and early manifestations of the personality disorder psychopathy is also discussed. It is concluded that the usefulness of a typological approach appears to be underestimated.

Corresponding author
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Lars R. Bergman, Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm 106 91, Sweden; E-mail:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

G. W. Allport (1937). Personality: A psychological interpretation. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

H. Andershed , D. Köhler , J. Eno Louden , & G. Hinrichs (2008). Does the three-factor model of psychopathy identify a problematic subgroup of young offenders? International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 31, 189198.

K. D. Bailey (1994). Typologies and taxonomies. an introduction to classification techniques. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

S. Barton (1994). Chaos, self-organisation, and psychology. American Psychologist, 49, 514.

L. R. Bergman (1988b). You can't classify all of the people all of the time. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 23, 425441.

L. R. Bergman , & B. M. El-Khouri (2001). Developmental processes and the modern typological perspective. European Psychologist, 6, 177186.

L. R. Bergman , & K. Trost (2006). The person-oriented versus the variable-oriented approach: Are they complementary, opposites, or exploring different worlds? Merrill–Palmer Quarterly, 52, 601632.

R. K. Blashfield (1980). The growth of cluster analysis: Tryon, Ward, and Johnson. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 15, 439458.

S. M. Boker (2002). Consequences of continuity: The hunt for intrinsic properties within parameters of dynamics in psychological processes. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 37, 405422.

D. Cicchetti (1993). Developmental psychopathology: Reactions, reflections, projections. Developmental Review, 13, 471502.

L. M. Collins , & S. E. Wugalter (1992). Latent class models for stage-sequential dynamic latent variables. Multivariable Behavioral Research, 27, 131157.

L. Cronbach (1975). Beyond the two disciplines of scientific psychology. American Psychologist, 30, 116127.

G. Ekman (1951). On typological and dimensional systems of reference in describing personality. Acta Psychologica, 8, 124.

P. J. Frick , & S. F. White (2008). The importance of callous–unemotional traits for the development of aggressive and antisocial behavior. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49, 359375.

S. Gangestad , & M. Snyder (1985). To carve nature at its joints: On the existence of discrete classes in personality. Psychological Review, 92, 317349.

R. M. Lerner (1991). Changing organism–context relations as the basis of development: A developmental contextual perspective. Developmental Psychology, 27, 2732.

D. Magnusson (1985). Implications of an interactional paradigm for research on human development. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 8, 115137.

D. Magnusson (1992). Back to the phenomena: Theory, methods, and statistics in psychological research. European Journal of Personality, 6, 114.

D. Magnusson , & B. Törestad (1993). A holistic view of personality: A model revisited. Annual Review of Psychology, 44, 427452.

P. E. Meehl (1992). Factors and taxa, traits and types, differences of degree and differences in kind. Journal of Personality, 60, 117174.

L. A. Sroufe , & M. Rutter (1984). The domain of developmental psychopathology. Child Development, 55, 1729.

G. M. Vincent , M. J. Vitacco , T. Grisso , & R. R. Corrado (2003). Subtypes of adolescent offenders: Affective traits and antisocial behavior patterns. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 21, 695712.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Development and Psychopathology
  • ISSN: 0954-5794
  • EISSN: 1469-2198
  • URL: /core/journals/development-and-psychopathology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 6
Total number of PDF views: 46 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 179 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 27th July 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.