In the first chapter in this part, Arnold J. Sameroff and Ronald Seifer begin by providing a historical overview of the traditional debates regarding the etiologies of mental disorders. They then discuss some of the successes and shortcomings of the risk-research strategy focused on parental psychopathology as the prepotent risk factor for psychopathology. Using parental schizophrenia as an exemplary model, these authors outline the bases for the early etiologic reasoning of the risk-for-schizophrenia researchers and describe how the Rochester Risk Project failed to confirm all of the model's predictions. Of particular importance to these authors were the discoveries of the nonspecificity of effects of parental diagnosis on children's current adjustment, the more salient effects of chronicity and severity regardless of maternal diagnosis, and the powerful influences of socioeconomic status on children's early adaptations. Given these findings and those of their contemporaries in both risk research and more basic developmental research, these authors contend that the medical-illness model and the high-risk child model are flawed. This is because the models fail to include a transactive systems model of competence and vulnerability during development.
The next chapter is authored by John Richters and Sheldon Weintraub. It illustrates the promise of the developmental psychopathology perspective when applied to the rich body of prospective data from the Stony Brook Risk Project. This project is one of the largest and longest-running longitudinal studies from the Risk for Schizophrenia Research Consortium. Their data, gathered from children, parents, schools, and clinical records, provide evidence of the dynamic interplay between the parents’ schizophrenic or affective disorder, rearing family environments, and the changing competencies of the at-risk offspring.
Part IV focuses on psychopathological processes during adolescence and on factors that may influence such processes. Adolescence has long been considered to be a period of particular developmental change and challenge. The chapters in this part offer the reader both a useful macroscopic theoretical perspective on the developmental psychopathology of adolescence and more specific consideration of possible factors in the development of individual disorders.
The initial chapter by Aaron T. Ebata, Anne C. Petersen, and John J. Conger uses knowledge of normative adolescent development to provide an excellent overview of prominent theoretical issues concerning psychopathological processes during adolescence. The authors highlight prevalent myths about adolescent psychopathology, such as the belief that psychopathological disturbances are normative and necessary during adolescence. Further, they urge that consideration of adolescent development include not only individual maturational processes but also specific social-context factors and dynamic transactions between the individual and the social environment. Ebata, Petersen, and Conger emphasize that adolescent psychopathological development can be usefully viewed as representing extreme poles on continuous dimensions of emotional development. This view leads to consideration of specific forms of psychopathology as differing patterns of adaptation that are negative deviations from the individual's developmental trajectory, products of interactions between the individual's adaptive coping skills and the changing social context.
Jack Block and Per F. Gjerde present data from a large-scale study that used one of the most direct methods of assessing developmental trajectory and precursors of psychopathology: the longitudinal follow-through design. This method is one that Norman Garmezy often has emphasized as critical to developmental psychopathology (Garmezy, 1971; Garmezy & Streitman, 1974).
This volume is a tribute to Norman Garmezy by students and colleagues he has influenced during four decades of research and teaching. Norm has been described as the Johnny Appleseed of American psychology, planting ideas around the world concerning risk, competence, and protective factors in the development of psychopathology. The fruits of his ideas and research are reflected in the diverse chapters of this volume, which span infancy to adult development.
Garmezy has had a profound influence on the direction of research in psychopathology, pioneering new areas of study throughout his career. One abiding interest has been understanding the roots of schizophrenia. Initially, he studied this serious disorder in adults (Garmezy, 1952a,b; Rodnick & Garmezy, 1957). The theme of competence, a hallmark of Norm's career, soon emerged as he and Elliott Rodnick studied the role of premorbid competence in schizophrenia (Garmezy, 1970a; Garmezy & Rodnick, 1959).
Norm's interest in the etiology of schizophrenia took a new turn in Minnesota as he, along with a cadre of students and other pioneering investigators, adopted the “risk” strategy for studying the development of schizophrenia (Garmezy, 1974a, 1976; Garmezy & Devine, 1984; Garmezy & Streitman, 1974). His influence in this area is evident in chapters in this volume written by students who trained with Norm during this period of focus, including Regina Driscoll, Keith H. Nuechterlein, Susan Phipps-Yonas, Jon Rolf, and Sheldon Weintraub, as well as chapters by colleagues in the risk consortium.
Once again the theme of competence quickly surfaced. Garmezy immediately recognized the significance of the large proportion of high-risk children who, often despite adverse rearing conditions, appeared to develop well.
The chapters in this part are concerned with the roles of individual and family differences in how children adapt to stressful life experiences. They highlight resilience, the positive side of the study of adaptation in children at risk due to cumulative environmental stressors.
Michael Rutter sets the stage by defining and tracing the history of interest in the concepts of vulnerability and resilience. Rutter suggests that the focus of this area must shift from identifying protective variables to identifying the processes by which protection occurs, and he brings together a diverse set of empirical findings to illustrate possible mechanisms of resilience.
The next three chapters represent three large studies of adaptation in children at risk due to adverse life circumstances. Robert C. Pianta, Byron Egeland, and L. Alan Sroufe draw on longitudinal data from the Mother-Child Interaction Research Project at the University of Minnesota to examine the role of contextual stress and earlier developmental history in understanding the adaptational competence of their sample of first-grade children. Child and family qualities associated with resilience in this sample are also identified. Ann S. Masten, Patricia Morison, David Pellegrini, and Auke Tellegen describe the evolution and results of the “Project Competence” research program founded by Norman Garmezy to study competence under conditions of stress and disadvantage. Both these chapters suggest that individual and family differences play critical roles in the achievement and maintenance of competence despite stressful life challenges. Moreover, both studies suggest that sex differences are crucial to understanding protective processes within the family.
Part V focuses on risk and protective factors in the initial development and evolving course of schizophrenia and other severe psychopathology, an area of study to which Norman Garmezy has made contributions for over three decades. Research on this topic has yielded direct benefits for our understanding of schizophrenia, as well as broader indirect benefits for the emerging field of developmental psychopathology. A direct result has been the identification of several personal characteristics and environmental factors that are associated with risk for schizophrenia and that may have an influence on the development and course of schizophrenia and related disorders. Work in this area also has led to conceptual advances that should aid future attempts to clarify the roles that potential risk and protective factors play in developmental pathways toward schizophrenia. Furthermore, as the chapters in this part show, research that began in this area has made a wide range of conceptual and empirical contributions to developmental psychopathology more generally, ranging from clarifying the predictive role of early competence for later psychopathology to focusing attention on specific ways in which genetic and environmental influences might interact during the epigenesis of psychopathology.
This part begins with a chapter in which Michael J. Goldstein presents the current evidence for family environmental factors as one set of stressors relevant to the onset and recurrence of schizophrenic episodes. Integrating evidence from his longitudinal study of disturbed adolescents and the ongoing Finnish Adoption Study by Tienari and colleagues, Goldstein concludes that interactions between a child's genetic vulnerability and disturbances in the family environment may be important in the epigenesis of schizophrenia.
The acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) plague is truly pandemic and spreading rapidly. It will challenge the coping and adaptive processes of typical and atypical persons at all stages of development, but especially those persons entering adolescence and young adulthood. The AIDS epidemic will cause adapting individuals to significantly alter their timing and experiencing of normative life choices, producing extremes not seen in developed countries since the world wars and the Great Depression. The epidemic's relevance to developmental psychopathology is clear, because studying developmental risk and protective processes during normative and nonnormative stressful life transitions is this discipline's core research strategy.
Developmental psychopathology as an emerging field has been defined and described in various ways in this volume. There is agreement that it should combine the methods and perspectives of clinical and normal developmental research in order for its practitioners to understand adaptation during development over the life span. The criteria for subject selection in order to demonstrate risk and protection differ, as would be expected for an interdisciplinary field. Typically, subjects have been selected for study on the basis of their possession of personal (e.g., biological or behavioral) attributes or exposure to contextual (e.g., family, peer group, and community) factors hypothesized to affect adaptation positively or negatively. For developmental psychopathologists, the AIDS epidemic will be a time for intensive efforts with new descriptive research, but it must also be a time for commitment to leading preventive intervention efforts. This chapter outlines how the developmental psychopathology research variables involving risk, vulnerability, and protection can be applied to the AIDS challenge and adapted for lifesaving preventive interventions.
Dante Cicchetti and Thomas M. Achenbach set the stage for this volume in these first two chapters by examining the historical and theoretical underpinnings of developmental psychopathology. Cicchetti traces the roots of this new discipline in three theories of development, each of which was influenced by Western philosophy and embryology: Freudian psychoanalytic theory, Wernerian organismic theory, and Piagetian structural theory. Cicchetti illustrates how, in diverse disciplines, the study of atypical or pathological populations has served to enrich and confirm the understanding of normal development, particularly in regard to the hierarchically integrated and dynamic nature of development. More recently, a developmental approach to pathological or atypical populations is leading to exciting advances in our knowledge of normal development as well as abnormal development.
Achenbach examines in detail the potential of the developmental perspective as a framework for organizing research on psychopathology and stimulating integrative theory, as well as for improving our assessment and intervention efforts with children at risk for or already manifesting psychological problems. The implications of this perspective for training in different disciplines are also explored, with Achenbach suggesting core areas of training for professionals who share a common concern about psychopathology whether they are students of nursing, pediatrics, psychiatry, clinical psychology, human development, education, or social work.
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