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Book Reviews
May 2002

Whither Child Psychiatry in the 21st Century?

Author Affiliations

Developmental Science, vol 4, issue 3, edited by Mark H. Johnson, Oxford, England, Blackwell Publishers, 2001.


Handbook of Developmental Psychopathology, 2nd ed, edited by Arnold J Sameroff, PhD, Michael Lewis, PhD, and Suzanne M. Miller, PhD, 786 pp, $95, ISBN 0-306-46275-3, New York, NY, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2000.


Developmental Neuropsychiatry, vols 1 and 2, by James C. Harris, MD, 288 pp, with illus, $36, ISBN 0-19513-110-X, London, England, Oxford University Press, 1998.


Copyright 2002 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2002

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2002;59(5):477-480. doi:

The latter half of the 20th century saw the burgeoning of a new array of techniques to probe the brain and study behavior, as well as reexamine the mind. However, the work domains of involved scientists—molecular, genetic, anatomic, physiological, cognitive, sociologic, and behavioral—remain separate. While it is clear that developmental science is relevant to clinical practice, integration and cross-talk between the basic sciences and the clinic is barely under way. We must now consider the delineation of relations between different levels of inquiry if we are to find new answers to questions regarding the etiology and pathogenesis of, and treatments for, psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. The newly designated concept of developmental psychopathology has the significance of reminding child and adolescent psychiatrists, as well as general psychiatrists, that the findings of basic scientists studying the development of brain and mind are relevant to 21st-century inquiry. This expanding knowledge base holds the promise of increasing understanding by providing, over time, new directions for modeling functional changes in health care as well as disease prevention.

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