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Developmental Psychopathology and Wellness

Genetic and Environmental Influences

Edited by James J. Hudziak, M.D.
American Psychopathological Association

  • ISBN 978-1-58562-279-5
  • Item #62279

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A major benchmark in the understanding of psychiatric illness in children and adolescents, Developmental Psychopathology and Wellness reports on progress in identifying genetic and environmental influences on emotional-behavioral disorders. A team of 22 international authorities presents work that changes the way child psychiatry and clinical psychology are conceptualized, debunking misconceptions about depression, antisocial behavior, and other conditions to enhance our understanding of the causes of child psychopathology—and improve the ways we treat these disorders.

Coverage of basic principles describes the influence of genomic medicine, as explained by trailblazers in the field who demonstrate the importance of the developmental perspective. Chapters on gene-environment interaction review the important concepts of personality and temperament, cognition, and sex—including findings from molecular genetic investigations on adolescent cognition, temperament, and brain function. Disorder-based examples show how emotional-behavioral illness and wellness attest to the interaction of genetic and environmental factors over time, providing new insight into the study of anxious depression, ADHD, autism, and antisocial personality disorders. And in considering how we can bridge the gap between research and clinical applications, Dr. Hudziak describes his family-based gene-environment approach as a means of better understanding etiopathology and treatment. Among the other significant contributions:

  • Thomas Achenbach focuses on the importance of culture in understanding the genetic and environmental impact on children, with insights into measuring these sources of influence.
  • Joan Kaufman reports on her seminal work on the genetic and environmental modifiers of risk and resilience in child abuse, relating maltreatment to other forms of environmental risk, genetic mediation, and reactivity.
  • D. I. Boomsma describes the genetic architecture of childhood worry, presenting data from an extraordinary sample of 30,000 twin pairs.
  • Frank Verhulst draws on a 14-year study to detail the advantages of the developmental perspective in understanding antisocial behavior.
  • Stephen Faraone offers guidelines for moving beyond statistics to document the functional significance of DNA variants associated with psychopathology.

As the contributors ably demonstrate, these new approaches to the care and treatment of at-risk children are applicable to daily practice, teaching, and research. Developmental Psychopathology and Wellness shows that these psychopathologies are not a matter of nature versus nurture or genes versus environment, but rather an intertwining web of them all.


  • Contributors
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1. Developing Concepts in Developmental Psychopathology
  • Chapter 2. Multicultural Perspectives on Developmental Psychopathology
  • Chapter 3. Social Context and Developmental Psychopathology
  • Chapter 4. Temperament and Child Psychopathology: Beyond Associations
  • Chapter 5. Genetics of Personality and Cognition in Adolescents
  • Chapter 6. Sex and Developmental Psychopathology
  • Chapter 7. Genetic and Environmental Modifiers of Risk and Resiliency in Maltreated Children
  • Chapter 8. Genetic and Environmental Influences on Anxious/Depression: A Longitudinal Study in 3- to 12-Year-Old Children
  • Chapter 9. Intersection of Autism and ADHD: Evidence for a Distinct Syndrome Influenced by Genes and by Gene–Environment Interactions
  • Chapter 10. Genetic Epidemiology of Pervasive Developmental Disorders
  • Chapter 11. The Fourteen-Year Prediction of Antisocial Behavior
  • Chapter 12. Statistical and Molecular Genetic Approaches to Developmental Psychopathology: The Pathway Forward
  • Chapter 13. Genetic and Environmental Influences on Wellness, Resilience, and Psychopathology: A Family-Based Approach for Promotion, Prevention, and Intervention
  • Index


    Thomas M. Achenbach, Ph.D.
    Adrian Angold, M.R.C.Psych.
    Meike Bartels, Ph.D.
    Dorret I. Boomsma, Ph.D.
    John N. Constantino, M.D.
    Stephen V. Faraone, Ph.D.
    Nathan A. Gillespie, Ph.D.
    James J. Hudziak, M.D.
    Joan Kaufman, Ph.D.
    Michelle Luciano, Ph.D.
    Dana March, M.P.H.
    Nicholas G. Martin, Ph.D.
    Rosalind J. Neuman, Ph.D.
    Wendy Reich, Ph.D.
    Angela M. Reiersen, M.D., M.P.E.
    David C. Rettew, M.D.
    Michael Rutter, M.D.
    Ezra Susser, M.D., Dr.P.H.
    Richard D. Todd, Ph.D., M.D.
    C.E.M. van Beijsterveldt, Ph.D.
    Frank C. Verhulst, M.D.
    Heather E. Volk, Ph.D., M.P.H.
    Margaret J. Wright, Ph.D.
    Gu Zhu, M.P.H., M.D.

About the Authors

James J. Hudziak, M.D., is Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Medicine, and Pediatrics; Thomas M. Achenbach Chair in Developmental Psychopathology; and Director of the Vermont Center for Children, Youth, and Families at the University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington, Vermont. He is also Professor and Endowed Chair on Genetics of Childhood Behaviour Problems, Biological Psychology, at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Dartmouth School of Medicine in Hanover, New Hampshire.

This is an invaluable resource for all, but especially for research scientists, educators, and students in the child mental health field. It simplifies complicated topics and makes the concepts more understandable. The editor has enlisted an international panel of experts in the field of developmental psychopathology to present the most up-to-date information in a single book. The significance of Developmental Psychopathology and Wellness and its extremely informative and important chapters is that the evidence points to a complex network of associations between biological and social factors that ultimately have an effect on the human psyche and its emergence. The critically vital element of this work is that it moves us beyond speculation or examination of constructs that can be questioned on content or construct validity and takes us into the world of biological linkage.—PsycCRITIQUES, 10/1/2008

It brings the professional reader up to date and may be useful, as well, to the educated nonprofessional and, especially, the advocate for children's causes. The book's 13 chapters by 24 well qualified authorities are organized into 4 parts.—The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 10/1/2008

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