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Many psychiatric disorders and problems, including depression, anxiety, ADHD, ASD, and behavioral problems, can have their onset in childhood and persist into adolescence and adulthood. Thus, developmental perspective is pivotal in understanding child and adolescent mental health. Yet, the majority of scientific findings on psychopathology have sprung from cross-sectional studies, prohibiting us from further understandings of how symptoms/problems change over time. 

Studies using longitudinal data promote our understandings of developmental psychopathology. Data obtained from different time points would allow for the examination of causality and changes with age in multiple domains related to the field of child psychiatry and psychology. These domains can include, but not limited to, psychopathology (emotions, behaviors, social challenges, for example) and well-being. Despite this advantage, there have been much fewer studies published using longitudinal study designs due to difficulty with data collection (time, cost) and analytic methods.

Therefore, the main goal of this Research Topic is to broaden our understandings of how the child’s social, emotional, and behavioral strengths and challenges change over time.

In this Research Topic, we will call for papers using longitudinal data analyses and addressing the following themes in the field of child and adolescent mental health:

·      Studies that elucidate longitudinal changes in or different trajectory patterns of domains/constructs related to child psychiatry and psychology. These include, but not limited to, psychopathology (affect, behavior, attention, social communication challenges, substance use), traits (temperament, self-regulation), well-being, and parental variables (parenting stress, for example);

·      Studies that explore the predictors and or distant outcomes of different trajectory patterns;

·      Studies using other longitudinal analyses (cross-lagged analyses, for example) to estimate the reciprocal relationship between variables over time.

Keywords: development, child, longitudinal studies

Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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