A Multilevel Developmental Psychopathology Systems Perspective on Depression

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


In this chapter, we examine how the principles of a multilevel developmental psychopathology systems perspective provide insight into understanding the etiology, course, and sequelae of depressive disorders. Depression is of particular interest to developmental psychopathologists because of the complex interplay of psychological (affective, cognitive, interpersonal) and biological (genetic, neurobiological, neurophysiological) systems that are involved. Although there are diverse pathways leading to depressive disorders, potential risk factors for depression may result in a multitude of outcomes, of which depression may be one. Moreover, depressive phenomena and disorders are present throughout the life course. Not only does knowledge of normative development and functioning assist in characterizing the deviations evident among those with depression, but also understanding the aberrations in functioning among depressed persons elucidates how normal adaptation is achieved. In addition, pathways to resilience and competent adaptation despite the experience of significant adversity are discussed. Finally, the implications of a developmental psychopathology approach for prevention and intervention strategies for depression are examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSystems Neuroscience in Depression
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9780128024560
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Depression
  • Developmental psychopathology
  • Intervention
  • Multiple levels of analysis
  • Prevention
  • Resilience


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