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Recent changes to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders highlight the importance of identity dysfunction within several psychiatric diagnoses. Despite a long-standing tradition of identity research and theory in the developmental literature, there is limited work establishing intersections between clinical and developmental conceptualizations of identity problems. The relative lack of integration between decades of clinical and developmental work is unfortunate, and likely limits progress in both areas. In this commentary, the authors argue for greater interdisciplinary collaboration and highlight contributions from developmental and clinical theories, which, if integrated, could enhance identity scholarship. The developmental psychopathology perspective is introduced as an ideal framework to promote these goals.


Originally published in Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 14(4), 297–311.