Origins of psychopathology: A developmental model

Claudio Violato, Mark Genuis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The main purpose of the present study was to test a latent variable path model of the influence of childhood attachment on psychological adaptation in adolescence. A total of 138 adolescents (mean age = 14.54 years; 64 males and 74 females) along with their mothers and fathers, when available, formed the present sample. Approximately 40% of the adolescents were drawn from a clinical sample and the remainder were from the community. Data were collected on the adolescents and their mothers and fathers on affective, cognitive, life history and demographic variables. The latent variable path model which specified that childhood attachment is central to the development of psychological adaptation in adolescence was fit to the data. Two latent variables, Abuse and Social/Emotional Isolation, were posited to have mutually reciprocal and dynamic effects on a third latent variable, Childhood Attachment which is directly linked to psychological adaptation. Using an Arbitrary Distribution Least Squares (ALS) method, the model resulted in a good fit to the data (Comparative Fit Index = .984), and all three latent variables were significantly (p < .05) intercorrelated as expected. Moreover, a single path from Childhood Attachment to psychological adaptation (Psychopathology) was confirmed by a significant path coefficient (.48, p < .01). Stepwise discriminant analyses revealed that the specific experiences in childhood did not discriminate among the types of pathology demonstrated in adolescence. The significance of the findings for a general theory of developmental psychopathology are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Changing Family and Child Development
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781351782807
ISBN (Print)9781138706613
StatePublished - Nov 22 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Claudio Violato, Elizabeth Oddone-Paolucci, Mark Genuis 2000. All rights reserved.


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