We present an overview of methodological issues involved in conducting psychopathology research, including conceptual, analytic, and interpretive considerations. Research issues germane to structured diagnostic interviewing, comorbidity of mental disorders, and ascertainment and sampling are reviewed. Further, the problem of specificity (with respect to disorder, to differential deficit, and to time) is discussed. Specific issues concerning risk vs protective factors, conducting research with special populations, and the continuity of abnormal and normal functioning are highlighted. Finally, various analogue strategies (human subclinical syndromes, experimental study of “pathological” processes in normals, animal models, and computer simulations) are critiqued. Our review documents many of the impressive methodological developments that have emerged in this field, and we hope our review stimulates additional research that exploits recent methodological advances.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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