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Child psychiatric epidemiology over the last 25 years is reviewed in terms of conceptual and methodological issues arising out of substantive findings. The Isle of Wight surveys undertaken in the mid-1960s are briefly described to establish a starting point, and progress since then is reviewed in terms of topics not originally covered-especially problems in preschool children and specific psychiatric disorders. The use of epidemiology to study causal hypotheses is considered, methodological advances are noted, and challenges for the future are discussed.

Copyright 1989 (C) American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry