Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment in Psychiatry

Conclusion

Conclusion
Developmental psychology plays an important role in psychiatric science and practice. Concepts such as the orthogenetic principle, ontogeny, phylogeny, age-norming, and developmental trajectories can help the practicing psychiatrist to place a patient’s current symptoms into developmental and ecological context. Common patterns in the development of psychopathology (eg, biosocial interactions, multiple pathway models, mediational models, and bidirectional effects) enrich the psychiatrist’s understanding of the etiology of psychiatric disorders.

Even though major developmental theories (eg, temperament, attachment, social learning) have historical significance, most contemporary thinking is not directed at contrasting these theories at a macro level. Rather, it is understood that psychiatric phenomena usually involve complex interactions of factors at multiple levels. Current research is aimed at understanding how variables implicated by various theories interact to produce psychiatric disorder, rather than proving one general theory more meritorious than another.

The relation between developmental psychology and psychiatry is reciprocal. That is, knowledge gained from developmental theory and empirical findings has been useful to psychiatrists in both scientific understanding and practice, and the findings and concerns of psychiatrists have modified developmental theory and guided developmental empirical inquiry. These disciplines have been fused even more tightly in the emerging discipline of developmental psychopathology, which seeks to understand the etiology, process, and life-course of psychiatric phenomena.

References

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General Developmental Theories

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Bandura A: Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory. Prentice-Hall, 1986.

Bowlby J: Attachment and Loss. Vol 3: Loss, Sadness, and Depression. Basic Books, 1980.

Bronfenbrenner U: The Ecology of Human Development: Experiments by Nature and Design. Harvard University Press, 1979.

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Garber J, Hilsman R: Cognitions, stress, and depression in children and adolescents. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am

Gunnar MR: Psychendocrine studies of temperament and stress in early childhood. In: Bates J, Wachs T (editors): Temperament: Individual Differences at the Interface of Biology and Behavior. American Psychological Association Press, 1994.

Hilsman R, Garber J: A test of the cognitive diathesis-stress model in children: academic stressors, attributional style, perceived competence and control. J Pers Soc Psychol

Piaget J: Piaget’s theory. In: Kesson W (editor): Handbook of Child Psychology. Vol 1: History, Theory, and Methods, 4th ed. John Wiley & Sons, 1983.

Life-Course Prospective Inquiry

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