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Developmental structuralist approach to the classification of adaptive and pathologic personality organizations: infancy and early childhood
Am J Psychiatry 1981;138:725-735.
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Abstract

Traditional classification of psychopathology is based on either symptom clusters or etiology. The authors suggest the use of a developmental structuralist approach, which focuses on an organism's manner of organizing and differentiating its experience of the world (structures) at each developmental level. The authors describe their postulated development stages of infancy and early childhood and discuss the implications of their approach for understanding adaptive and maladaptive infant functioning, environmental patterns, and principles of preventive intervention. In addition to diagnosis and preventive or therapeutic planning, this approach may be valuable for longitudinal studies and assessing developmental progression and/or outcome because continuity can be observed in terms of developmental level of adaptability rather than specific behaviors and because its provides a set of "baseline" functions to assess clinically relevant aspects of development.

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