Competence and psychopathology in development: Risk, disorder and psychopathology

Ann S. Masten, Keith B. Burt, J. Douglas Coatsworth

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

183 Scopus citations


The focus of this chapter is competence as it relates to psychopathology in development. The chapter emphasizes the history of concepts most pertinent to competence, and describes constructs that are important for developmental psychopathology, particularly in relation to the history and definitions of psychopathology, its diagnosis, and interventions to prevent or treat mental health problems. It then summarizes key themes and issues dealing with competence constructs. Psychopathology is defined in relation to competence, with a particular focus on the concepts of impairment, harmful dysfunction, and disability in the definition and classification of mental illness. The chapter delineates several models depicting how competence and psychopathology might be related. It examines intervention efforts pertinent to competence, with an emphasis on prevention science. Finally, the chapter evaluates the progress made in developmental psychopathology toward integrating the study of positive and maladaptive development and discusses the implications for improving developmental science and its applications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDevelopmental psychopathology
Subtitle of host publicationRisk, disorder and psychopathology
EditorsD. Ciccheti, D. Cohen
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
Number of pages43
Edition2nd Edition
ISBN (Electronic)9780470939406
ISBN (Print)9780471237389
StatePublished - 2006


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