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Psychosocial adversity and child psychopathology

  • Michael L. Rutter (a1)

Despite strong claims that genetic theory' should replace socialisation theory’, there are good grounds for taking seriously the notion that there are psychosocial influences on child psychopathology.


To re-evaluate this issue in the light of developments over the past half-century.


A wide-ranging review of topics related to this issue, 1948–1998.

Results and conclusions

The findings are used to consider the challenges still to be met as we enter the next century. It is argued that it is necessary to put aside the absurd brain–mind dualisms of the past.

Corresponding author
Professor Michael Rutter, Social Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Research Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill. London SE5 8AF. UK. Tel: 171 919 3873; Fax: 171 919 3866
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First presented as the Inaugural Faculty Lecture at the Royal College of Psychiatrists Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Section Annual Residential Meeting. 24–26 September 1998. Bristol.

Declaration of interest


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Psychosocial adversity and child psychopathology

  • Michael L. Rutter (a1)
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