Development and Psychopathology


Development and self-regulatory structures of the mind

Dante Cicchettia1 c1 and Don Tuckera2

a1 Mt. Hope Family Center, University of Rochester

a2 Department of Psychology, University of Oregon


From their early roots in embryology, parallels are drawn between the major psychological and biological foci of organismic theories. Neural plasticity and concepts of causality in developmental systems are discussed. Because the nature of the developmental process necessitates addressing the nonlinear dynamics of complex systems, it is theorized that causal explanations in neural development, just as is the case with psychological processes, should emphasize the individual's active strivings for self-organization as the major determinant of ontogenesis. Whether or not they cohere to form an integrated self, it is hypothesized that the homeostatic, self-regulatory structures of the mind are the major stabilities in the chaotic dynamics of psychological and neural development.


c1 Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Dante Cicchetti, Department of Psychology, Director, Mt. Hope Family Center, University of Rochester, 187 Edinburgh Street, Rochester, NY 14608.