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January 2022

Relevance of developmental psychology models for child and adolescent psychiatry

Author(s): Rauh, H.

Journal/Book: Prax Kinderpsychol Kinderpsyc. 1996; 45: Theaterstrasse 13, Postfach 77, W-37070 Gottingen, Germany. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. 78-82.

Abstract: The literature on personality research, developmental psychology and psychopathology has consistently revealed two types of personality. According to different theoretical and methodological approaches these types are considered as prototypes of a personality dimension, or as behavioral patterns in psychopathology. In the research on adult personality, they are known as extraversion and introversion. Child psychiatrists refer to these prototypes as externalizing and internalizing disorders. However, there are few empirical studies on the congruency between adult personality types and childhood disorders. Longitudinal studies from the USA and New Zealand give evidence that adult personality types can predict coping styles of school age children in stressfull and challenging situations. Research on infant attachment to caregivers, revealing consistently different qualities of interaction patterns, may also be predictive for different coping styles in children of preschool age. Interdisciplinary discussions will focus on the question, whether early behavior patterns should be seen as predictors for adult traits (homotypic continuity) or as developmentally determined indicators for underlying functions (heterotypic continuity). Possibly, in early developmental stages behavior patterns have adaptive functions and in later stages become chronic strategies over time. Another topic concerns the relation between personality traits and pathologic behavior patterns and whether chronic strain may be influential.

Note: Article U Lehmkuhl, Humboldt Univ Berlin, Virchow Klinikums, ABT Psychiat & Neurol, Kindes & Jugendalters, D-14050 Berlin, Germany

Keyword(s): ADULT LIFE; PSYCHOPATHOLOGY; ADJUSTMENT; DISORDERS


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