Continuity and discontinuity between psychopathology of childhood and adulthood: a review on retrospective and prospective studies

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Immacolata Zarrella *
Luigi Alessandro Russolillo
Giorgio Caviglia
Raffaella Perrella
(*) Corresponding Author:
Immacolata Zarrella |


The knowledge of the possible development of a psychiatric disorder, diagnosed for the first time in childhood, is very crucial for all specialists in helping professions working with children and adults. Recent longitudinal studies have demonstrated the possibility that disturbances in childhood may increase the risk of psychiatric illnesses in adulthood, through a homotypic or heterotypic continuity. The aim of this study is to perform a systematic review of existing literature on the psychopathological progression from childhood to adulthood, taking into account both prospective and retrospective studies, and the antecedents and conditions that may encourage/disadvantage the process of continuity of psychopathological syndromes. The study of the possible trajectories of psychopathological disorders is considered fundamental, as it allows the clinician to configure prevention strategies and evaluate interventions, but also to offer to the parent a more concrete vision of the possible risks of their child’s disorders to minimize them.

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