The relationships infants and young children have with their caregivers are fundamental to their survival and well-being. Theorists and researchers across disciplines have attempted to describe and assess the variation in these relationships, leading to a general acceptance that caregiving is critical to understanding child functioning, including developmental psychopathology. At the same time, we lack consensus on how to assess these fundamental relationships. In the present paper, we first review research documenting the importance of the caregiver–child relationship in understanding environmental risk for psychopathology. Second, we propose that the National Institute of Mental Health's Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative provides a useful framework for extending the study of children's risk for psychopathology by assessing their caregivers’ social processes. Third, we describe the units of analysis for caregiver social processes, documenting how the specific subconstructs in the domain of social processes are relevant to the goal of enhancing knowledge of developmental psychopathology. Lastly, we highlight how past research can inform new directions in the study of caregiving and the parent–child relationship through this innovative extension of the RDoC initiative.