Editorial: Something special - the scientific challenges of rare risks

Albertine J. Oldehinkel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademicpeer-review

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Globalization has sparked international collaboration in our field, and this trend is expected to continue in the years to come. This offers excellent opportunities to learn more about the influence of children's sociocultural environments on their development and mental health. A particular challenge when studying risk factors across cultures and populations is that the risk associated with a particular exposure may depend on its prevalence: rarity tends to aggravate impact. This phenomenon complicates not only comparisons across cultures, but also those across subpopulations and time periods within a population. Moreover, it may counteract the effectiveness of risk-reducing public health efforts. On the bright side, the extent to which the impact of a risk factor is determined by its rarity provides researchers with valuable tools to deepen and sharpen theories about the nature and working mechanisms of that risk factor, with prevention and treatment strategies that also benefit youth in exceptional conditions as a likely consequence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-942
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept-2020



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