Abstract and Keywords
Identifying the boundaries between more extreme levels of temperament traits and psychiatric symptoms or disorders can be challenging, but clinicians are often called on to make such determinations. Despite modern views of psychiatric illness as binary yes-or-no conditions, a vast literature has accumulated demonstrating strong links between various temperament dimensions and nearly all types of psychopathology. Less well understood is how these domains are related and to what degree traits and psychopathology share a common etiology. In the end, a more dimensionally minded clinical approach that includes quantitative assessment with incremental treatment, health promotion in addition to disease reduction, and a focus on the family rather than individuals may be productive regardless of how particular behaviors are labeled.
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