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Quantitative genetics and developmental psychopathology: Contributions to understanding normal development

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 October 2008

Richard D. Rende
Affiliation:
Center for Developmental and Health Genetics, College of Health and Human Development, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
Robert Plomin
Affiliation:
Center for Developmental and Health Genetics, College of Health and Human Development, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park

Abstract

This article reviews ways in which quantitative genetic approaches to developmental psychopathology can elucidate normal development. A few examples from genetics are discussed to highlight how investigations of abnormal functioning can inform the study of normal functioning. Two topics that provide bridges between the normal and abnormal are presented in greater detail. Most important is a new quantitative genetic technique that assesses empirically genetic and environmental links between the normal and abnormal. A second topic involves quantitative genetic approaches to environmental analyses, as highlighted by the examination of nonshared environmental factors. Such examinations of the environment are essential in studies of psychopathology, and their application to abnormal development can elucidate processes of normal development. We believe that forging links between the normal and abnormal is the core task of developmental psychopathology and that quantitative genetics is not only compatible with this goal, but essential to it.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1990

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