Development and Psychopathology (DEV PSYCHOPATHOL )

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


This multidisciplinary journal is devoted to the publication of original empirical theoretical and review papers which address the interrelationship of normal and pathological development in adults and children. It is intended to serve and integrate the emerging field of developmental psychopathology which strives to understand patterns of adaptation and maladaptation throughout the lifespan. This journal is of vital interest to psychologists psychiatrists social scientists neuroscientists paediatricians and researchers.

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  • Website
    Development and Psychopathology website
  • Other titles
    Development and psychopathology
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    Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

Publisher details

Cambridge University Press

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    • Author can archive a pre-print version
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    • On authors personal or departmental web page or institutional repository or PubMed Central
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    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
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    • Permission (not to be unreasonably withheld) needs to be sought if the author is at a different institution to when the article was originally published.
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    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A sample of 356 children recruited from Head Start (58% European American, 25% African American, and 17% Hispanic; 54% girls; M age = 4.59 years) were followed longitudinally from prekindergarten through fifth grade. Latent profile analyses of teacher-rated inattention from kindergarten through third grade identified four developmental trajectories: stable low (53% of the sample), stable high (11.3%), rising over time (16.4%), and declining over time (19.3%). Children with stable low inattention had the best academic outcomes in fifth grade, and children exhibiting stable high inattention had the worst, with the others in between. Self-regulation difficulties in preschool (poor executive function skills and elevated opposition-aggression) differentiated children with rising versus stable low inattention. Elementary schools characterized by higher achievement differentiated children with declining versus stable high inattention. Boys and children from single-parent families were more likely to remain high or rise in inattention, whereas girls and children from dual-parent families were more likely to remain low or decline in inattention.
    Development and Psychopathology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Children born preterm are at risk for experiencing significant deleterious developmental outcomes throughout their childhood and adolescence. However, individual variation and resilience are hallmarks of the preterm population. The present study examined pathways to resilience across multiple domains (e.g., social activities, peer relations, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptomology, externalizing and internalizing behavior, and sleep quality) as children born preterm reached school age. The study also examined early child and family predictors of resilience. Using a prospective longitudinal design, 173 infants born preterm and without significant neurological complications were assessed at five time points: neonatal intensive care unit discharge, 9 months, 16 months, 24 months, and 6 years. Three pathways of adaptation emerged at 6 years: children who were resilient, those who remained at-risk, and children who exhibited significant difficulties. Resilient children were less likely to have experienced negative parenting at 9 and 16 months, more likely to delay gratification at 24 months, and more likely to experience neonatal health complications than nonresilient children.
    Development and Psychopathology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This paper examines the relationship between childhood exposure to cumulative risk and three indicators of psychosocial adjustment in adulthood (educational attainment, mental health, and criminal behavior) and tests three different models (linear, quadratic, and interaction). Data were collected over several time points from individuals who were part of a prospective cohort design study that matched children with documented cases of abuse and/or neglect with children without such histories and followed them into adulthood. Hierarchical multiple regressions compared linear and quadratic models and then examined potential moderating effects of child abuse/neglect and gender. Exposure to a greater number of childhood risk factors was significantly related to fewer years of education, more anxiety and depression symptomatology, and more criminal arrests in adulthood. The relationship between cumulative risk and years of education demonstrated a curvilinear pattern, whereas the relationship between cumulative risk and both mental health and criminal arrests was linear. Child abuse/neglect did not moderate these relationships, although there were direct effects for both child abuse/neglect and gender on criminal arrests, with more arrests for abused/neglected individuals than controls and more for males than females. Gender interacted with cumulative risk to impact educational attainment and criminal behavior, suggesting that interventions may be more effective if tailored differently for males and females. Interventions may need to be multifaceted and designed to address these different domains of functioning.
    Development and Psychopathology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Manuck, Craig, Flory, Halder, and Ferrell (2011) reported that a theoretically anticipated effect of family rearing on girls' menarcheal age was genetically moderated by two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the estrogen receptor-α gene. We sought to replicate and extend these findings, studying 210 White females followed from birth. The replication was general because a different measure of the rearing environment was used in this inquiry (i.e., maternal sensitivity) than in the prior one (i.e., family cohesion). Extensions of the work included prospective rather than retrospective measurements of the rearing environment, reports of first menstruation within a year of its occurrence rather than decades later, accounting for some heritability of menarcheal age by controlling for maternal age of menarche, and using a new model-fitting approach to competitively compare diathesis-stress versus differential-susceptibility models of Gene × Environment interaction. The replication/extension effort proved successful in the case of both estrogen receptor-α SNPs, with the Gene × Environment interactions principally reflecting diathesis-stress: lower levels of maternal sensitivity predicted earlier age of menarche for girls homozygous for the minor alleles of either SNP but not for girls carrying other genotypes. Results are discussed in light of the new analytic methods adopted.
    Development and Psychopathology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the extent to which secure base script knowledge-reflected in the ability to generate narratives in which attachment-relevant events are encountered, a clear need for assistance is communicated, competent help is provided and accepted, and the problem is resolved-is associated with mothers' electrophysiological, subjective, and observed emotional responses to an infant distress vocalization. While listening to an infant crying, mothers (N = 108, M age = 34 years) lower on secure base script knowledge exhibited smaller shifts in relative left (vs. right) frontal EEG activation from rest, reported smaller reductions in feelings of positive emotion from rest, and expressed greater levels of tension. Findings indicate that lower levels of secure base script knowledge are associated with an organization of emotional responding indicative of a less flexible and more emotionally restricted response to infant distress. Discussion focuses on the contribution of mothers' attachment representations to their ability to effectively manage emotional responding to infant distress in a manner expected to support sensitive caregiving.
    Development and Psychopathology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the role of child temperament as moderator of the effect of parenting style on children's externalizing and internalizing behaviors. A series of structural equation models were fit to a representative sample of 2,631 Canadian children from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth. In addition to testing for the presence of Temperament × Parenting interactions, these models also examined the direct and indirect effects of a number of additional contextual factors such as neighborhood problems, neighborhood cohesion, social support, and maternal depression. The results indicate that exposure to more positive parenting reduces behavior problems in children with difficult/unadaptable temperaments. No moderating effects of temperament on hostile parenting were found. Such results serve to highlight the pivotal role of positive features of the rearing environment as catalysts for the successful adaptation of children with difficult/unadaptable temperaments. The results of this modeling work also serve to emphasize the importance of considering the ways in which more distal factors can affect children's behavioral adaptation by contributing to changes in proximal family processes.
    Development and Psychopathology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Based on an emerging neuroscience model of addiction, this study examines how an imbalance between two neurobehavioral systems (reward motivation and executive control) can distinguish between early adolescent progressive drug use and mere experimentation with drugs. Data from four annual assessments of a community cohort (N = 382) of 11- to 13-year-olds were analyzed to model heterogeneity in patterns of early drug use. Baseline assessments of working memory (an indicator of the functional integrity of the executive control system) and three dimensions of impulsivity (characterizing the balance between reward seeking and executive control systems) were used to predict heterogeneous latent classes of drug use trajectories from early to midadolescence. Findings revealed that an imbalance resulting from weak executive control and heightened reward seeking was predictive of early progression in drug use, while heightened reward seeking balanced by a strong control system was predictive of occasional experimentation only. Implications of these results are discussed in terms of preventive interventions that can target underlying weaknesses in executive control during younger years, and potentially enable at-risk adolescents to exercise greater self-restraint in the context of rewarding drug-related cues.
    Development and Psychopathology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, we employed an eye-gaze paradigm to explore whether children (ages 8-12) and adolescents (ages 12-18) with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are able to use prosodic cues to determine the syntactic structure of an utterance. Persons with ASD were compared to typically developing (TD) peers matched on age, IQ, gender, and receptive language abilities. The stimuli were syntactically ambiguous but had a prosodic break that indicated the appropriate interpretation (feel the frog … with the feather vs. feel … the frog with the feather). We found that all groups were equally sensitive to the initial prosodic cues that were presented. Children and teens with ASD used prosody to interpret the ambiguous phrase as rapidly and efficiently as their TD peers. However, when a different cue was presented in subsequent trials, the younger ASD group was more likely to respond in a manner consistent with the initial prosodic cue rather than the new one. Eye-tracking data indicated that both younger groups (ASD and TD) had trouble shifting their interpretation as the prosodic cue changed, but the younger TD group was able to overcome this interference and produce an action consistent with the prosodic cue.
    Development and Psychopathology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis is particularly sensitive to conditions of maltreatment. In particular, neglected children have shown a flatter slope with lower wake-up values relative to nonneglected children. An intervention, the Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up (ABC), was developed to enhance biological and behavioral regulation in young children at risk for neglect. The effectiveness of the intervention was assessed in a randomized clinical trial for children with involvement with Child Protective Services. Following the intervention, children receiving the ABC intervention (n = 49) showed more typical cortisol production, with higher wake-up cortisol values and a steeper diurnal slope, than children receiving the control intervention (n = 51). These results suggest that the ABC intervention is effective in enhancing biological regulation.
    Development and Psychopathology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Accelerated pubertal development has been linked to adverse early environments and may heighten subsequent mental and physical health risks. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functioning has been posited as a mechanism whereby stress may affect pubertal development, but the literature lacks prospective tests of this mechanism. The current study assessed 277 youth (M = 10.84 years, SD = 1.14), 138 boys and 139 girls, who reported on their pubertal development and underwent the Trier Social Stress Test for Children at baseline and returned to the laboratory approximately 1 year later (M = 1.12 years, range = 0.59-1.98 years). For girls, lower cortisol area under the curve (with respect to ground) at Time 1 predicted more advanced pubertal development at Time 2, controlling for Time 1 pubertal development. This association persisted after additional covariates including age, body mass index, race, and maltreatment history were introduced, and was driven by adrenal rather than gonadal development. Cortisol was not linked to boys' subsequent pubertal development, and no interaction by gender or by maltreatment appeared. These results suggest that attenuated cortisol, reported in other studies of children exposed to early adversity, may contribute to accelerated pubertal tempo in girls.
    Development and Psychopathology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We followed 100 community families from toddler age to preadolescence. Each mother- and father-child dyad was observed at 25, 38, 52, 67, and 80 months (10 hr/child) to assess positive and power-assertive parenting. At age 10 (N = 82), we obtained parent- and child-reported outcome measures of children's acceptance of parental socialization: cooperation with parental monitoring, negative attitude toward substance use, internalization of adult values, and callous-unemotional tendencies. Children who carried a short serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region gene (5-HTTLPR) allele and were highly anger prone, based on anger observed in laboratory from 25 to 80 months, were classified as high in biobehavioral risk. The remaining children were classified as low in biobehavioral risk. Biobehavioral risk moderated links between parenting history and outcomes. For low-risk children, parenting measures were unrelated to outcomes. For children high in biobehavioral risk, variations in positive parenting predicted cooperation with monitoring and negative attitude toward substance use, and variations in power-assertive parenting predicted internalization of adult values and callous-unemotional tendencies. Suboptimal parenting combined with high biobehavioral risk resulted in the poorest outcomes. The effect for attitude toward substance use supported differential susceptibility: children high in biobehavioral risk who received optimal parenting had a more adaptive outcome than their low-risk peers. The remaining effects were consistent with diathesis-stress.
    Development and Psychopathology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to early life adversity is linked to impaired affective, cognitive, and behavioral functioning and increases risk for various psychiatric and medical conditions. Stress-induced increases in pro-inflammatory cytokines may be a biological mechanism of these effects. Few studies have examined cytokine levels in children experiencing early life adversity, and very little research has investigated cytokines or other markers of inflammation in saliva. In the present study, we examined salivary IL-1β and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in relation to stress exposure in 40 children aged 3 to 5 years who were enrolled in a larger study of early life adversity. Childhood maltreatment status was assessed via review of child welfare records, and contextual stress exposure, traumatic life event history, and symptoms of psychopathology were assessed via caregiver interviews at a home visit. In a subsequent visit, salivary IL-1β and CRP were obtained before and after participation in four emotion-eliciting tasks. Number of past month contextual stressors, lifetime contextual stressors, and traumatic life events each demonstrated a significant main effect on IL-1β. Baseline IL-1β was positively associated with each of the significant main-effect adversities. Post-challenge IL-1β displayed positive associations with each adversity variable, but were not significant. CRP was not significantly associated with any of the adversity variables. Given evidence suggesting involvement of IL-1β in the neuropathology of psychiatric conditions, these results may have important implications for developmental outcomes.
    Development and Psychopathology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Consistent research shows that peer victimization predicts internalizing symptoms in childhood and adolescence, but the extent to which peer victimization and its harmful effects on mental health persists into young adulthood is unclear. The current study describes patterns of physical and relational victimization during and after high school, and examines concurrent and prospective associations between internalizing symptoms (depressive and anxious symptoms) and peer victimization (physical and relational) from adolescence to young adulthood (ages 12-27). Data were collected from the Victoria Healthy Youth Survey, a five-wave multicohort study conducted biennially between 2003 and 2011 (N = 662). Physical victimization was consistently low and stable over time. Relational victimization increased for males after high school. Both types of victimization were associated concurrently with internalizing symptoms across young adulthood for males and for females. Although sex differences were important, victimization in high school also predicted increases in internalizing problems over time.
    Development and Psychopathology 08/2014; 26(3):675-88.
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    ABSTRACT: Urban ethnic minority youth are often exposed to high levels of aggression and violence. As such, many aggression intervention programs that have been designed with suburban nonethnic minority youth have been used or slightly adapted in order to try and meet the needs of high-risk urban youth. The current study contributes to the literature base by examining how well a range of social-cognitive, emotional distress and victimization, and prosocial factors are related to youth aggression in a sample of urban youth. This study utilized data gathered from 109 9- to 15-year-old youth (36.7% male; 84.4% African American) and their parents or caregivers. A series of hierarchical multiple regressions were fit predicting youth aggression from social-cognitive variables, victimization and distress, and prosocial variables, controlling for youth gender and age. Each set of variables explained a significant and unique amount of the variance in youth aggressive behavior. The full model including all predictors accounted for 41% of the variance in aggression. Models suggest that youth with stronger beliefs supportive of violence, youth who experience more overt victimization, and youth who experience greater distress in overtly aggressive situations are likely to be more aggressive. In contrast, youth with higher self-esteem and youth who endorse greater leadership efficacy are likely to be less aggressive. Contrary to hypotheses, hostile attributional bias and knowledge of social information processing, experience of relational victimization, distress in relationally aggressive situations, and community engagement were not associated with aggression. Our study is one of the first to address these important questions for low-income, predominately ethnic minority urban youth, and it has clear implications for adapting aggression prevention programs to be culturally sensitive for urban African American youth.
    Development and Psychopathology 08/2014; 26(3):759-72.
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    ABSTRACT: This short-term longitudinal study examined the associations between relational and physical victimization and depressive symptoms, and the moderating role of school-aged children's relational-interdependent self-construals in these associations. The participants were 387 children (51.8% boys) who were in the fifth grade (M = 10.48 years, SD = 0.55) in Taiwan and followed at two time points (a 6-month interval) during a calendar year. A multiple-informant approach was used where forms of peer victimization, depressive symptoms, and relational-interdependent self-construals were assessed via peer nominations, teacher reports, and child reports, respectively. All measures had favorable psychometric properties. The results of a multigroup cross-lagged model demonstrated that relational victimization (not physical victimization) was positively predictive of subsequent depressive symptoms, and the effect was evidenced for highly interdependent children only. The opposite link was also significant, such that depressive symptoms predicted subsequent relational victimization (not physical victimization) for children who exhibited low and high levels of relational-interdependent self-construals. In contrast, physical victimization predated a lower level of depressive symptoms for highly interdependent children. These effects were unaffected by the gender of the child. The findings, especially the interactive effects of relational victimization (as a contextual factor) and relational-interdependent self-construals (as an individual vulnerability) on depressive symptoms, are discussed from a developmental psychopathology perspective.
    Development and Psychopathology 08/2014; 26(3):619-34.
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    ABSTRACT: Founded in the social process model, the aim of this study was to identify whether the associations of relational aggression with concurrent and subsequent relational victimization differed depending on early adolescents' personal vulnerabilities and gender. The vulnerabilities of interest were social-information processing variables that convey greater emotional sensitivity, including rejection sensitivity, fear of negative evaluation, and avoidance of intimacy. Participants were 358 early adolescents (176 boys, 178 girls) aged 9 to 13 years. Relational aggression and victimization were assessed via peer nominations, whereas the three indicators of emotional sensitivity were assessed via self-report. Overall, results revealed greater relational aggression at Time 1 to be associated with greater relational victimization at both Time 1 and Time 2. However, this finding was qualified by both emotional sensitivity and gender. When considered separately, girls who were relationally aggressive and emotionally sensitive were at increased risk of victimization at both assessment points. In contrast, no link was found between relational aggression and victimization for boys, although relational vulnerabilities did have unique associations with boys' relational victimization. These findings have implications for our understanding of relational aggression and victimization, as well as for the development of interventions aimed at reducing these problems.
    Development and Psychopathology 08/2014; 26(3):661-73.
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    ABSTRACT: In this investigation, gene-environment-gender interaction effects in predicting child borderline personality disorder symptomatology among maltreated and nonmaltreated low-income children (N = 1,051) were examined. In the context of a summer research camp, adult-, peer-, and self-report assessments of borderline precursor indicators were obtained, as well as child self-report on the Borderline Personality Features Scale for Children. Genetic variants of the oxytocin receptor genotype and the FK506 binding protein 5 gene CATT haplotype were investigated. Children who self-reported high levels of borderline personality symptomatology were differentiated by adults, peers, and additional self-report on indicators of emotional instability, conflictual relationships with peers and adults, preoccupied attachment, and indicators of self-harm and suicidal ideation. Maltreated children also were more likely to evince many of these difficulties relative to nonmaltreated children. A series of analyses of covariance, controlling for age and ancestrally informative markers, indicated significant Maltreatment × Gene × Gender three-way interactions. Consideration of the maltreatment parameters of subtype, onset, and recency expanded understanding of variation among maltreated children. The three-way interaction effects demonstrated differential patterns among girls and boys. Among girls, the gene-environment interaction was more consistent with a diathesis-stress model, whereas among boys a differential-sensitivity interaction effect was indicated. Moreover, the genetic variants associated with greater risk for higher borderline symptomatology, dependent on maltreatment experiences, were opposite in girls compared to boys. The findings have important implications for understanding variability in early predictors of borderline personality pathology.
    Development and Psychopathology 08/2014; 26(3):831-49.

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