Developmental psychopathology: Maladaptive and adaptive attractors in children’s close relationships

Erika S. Lunkenheimer, Thomas J. Dishion

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction Routine, day-to-day interactions form the fabric of our interpersonal experience. A mother and her toddler, for example, might have a number of difficult moments in any given day as they jointly navigate the child's newly developing autonomy (e.g., the child wants to play with a forbidden toy). On the other hand, the majority of the day will typically be spent speaking about more neutral topics, such as eating, cleaning up, and getting dressed. Historically, clinical researchers have focused on more atypical, maladaptive interactions between children and their parents or peers, with the goal of reducing these aversive interactions. These maladaptive interactions are important. For example, negative interpersonal interchanges, in moderation, may allow for reflection and insight, offering important opportunities for adaptive change in relationships (Dunn & Brown, 1994; Lunkenheimer, Shields, & Cortina, 2007). However, they are also rare: Even with the most problematic children, observational researchers code only about 5% to 10% of family and peer interactions as aversive (Dishion, Duncan, Eddy, & Fagot, 1994). In contrast, adaptive neutral or positive interactions are not only more common, but we are more likely to observe them in the home and laboratory contexts. Further, an important goal of preventive intervention programs is to promote and build on existing adaptive interaction patterns in close personal relationships. Thus both adaptive and maladaptive interactions in close relationships should be of interest to clinical and developmental psychopathology researchers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationChaos and Complexity in Psychology: The Theory of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages282-306
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9781139058544, 9780521887267
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Psychopathology
Research Personnel
Preventive Health Services
Play and Playthings
Eating
Parents
Mothers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Lunkenheimer, E. S., & Dishion, T. J. (2011). Developmental psychopathology: Maladaptive and adaptive attractors in children’s close relationships. In Chaos and Complexity in Psychology: The Theory of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems (pp. 282-306). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139058544.010

Developmental psychopathology : Maladaptive and adaptive attractors in children’s close relationships. / Lunkenheimer, Erika S.; Dishion, Thomas J.

Chaos and Complexity in Psychology: The Theory of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems. Cambridge University Press, 2011. p. 282-306.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Lunkenheimer, ES & Dishion, TJ 2011, Developmental psychopathology: Maladaptive and adaptive attractors in children’s close relationships. in Chaos and Complexity in Psychology: The Theory of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems. Cambridge University Press, pp. 282-306. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139058544.010
Lunkenheimer ES, Dishion TJ. Developmental psychopathology: Maladaptive and adaptive attractors in children’s close relationships. In Chaos and Complexity in Psychology: The Theory of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems. Cambridge University Press. 2011. p. 282-306 https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139058544.010
Lunkenheimer, Erika S. ; Dishion, Thomas J. / Developmental psychopathology : Maladaptive and adaptive attractors in children’s close relationships. Chaos and Complexity in Psychology: The Theory of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems. Cambridge University Press, 2011. pp. 282-306
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