Article

Is There a General Factor of Prevalent Psychopathology During Adulthood?

Journal of Abnormal Psychology (Impact Factor: 4.86). 07/2012; DOI: 10.1037/a0028355
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The patterns of comorbidity among prevalent mental disorders in adults lead them to load on "externalizing," "distress," and "fears" factors. These factors are themselves robustly correlated, but little attention has been paid to this fact. As a first step in studying the implications of these interfactor correlations, we conducted confirmatory factor analyses on diagnoses of 11 prevalent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.) mental disorders in a nationally representative sample. A model specifying correlated externalizing, distress, and fears factors fit well, but an alternative model was tested in which a "general" bifactor was added to capture what these disorders share in common. There was a modest but significant improvement in fit for the bifactor model relative to the 3-factor oblique model, with all disorders loading strongly on the bifactor. Tests of external validity revealed that the fears, distress, and externalizing factors were differentially associated with measures of functioning and potential risk factors. Nonetheless, the general bifactor accounted for significant independent variance in future psychopathology, functioning, and other criteria over and above the fears, distress, and externalizing factors. These findings support the hypothesis that these prevalent forms of psychopathology have both important common and unique features. Future studies should determine whether this is because they share elements of their etiology and neurobiological mechanisms. If so, the existence of common features across diverse forms of prevalent psychopathology could have important implications for understanding the nature, etiology, and outcomes of psychopathology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).

1 Bookmark
 · 
106 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background. With psychopathology rising during adolescence and evidence suggesting that adult mental health burden is often due to disorders beginning in youth, it is important to investigate the epidemiology of adolescent mental disorders. Method. We analysed data gathered at ages 11 (baseline) and 19 years from the population-based Dutch TRacking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS) study. At baseline we administered the Achenbach measures (Child Behavior Checklist, Youth Self-Report) and at age 19 years the World Health Organization’s Composite International Diagnostic Interview version 3.0 (CIDI 3.0) to 1584 youths. Results. Lifetime, 12-month and 30-day prevalences of any CIDI-DSM-IV disorder were 45, 31 and 15%, respectively. Half were severe. Anxiety disorders were the most common but the least severe whereas mood and behaviour disorders were less prevalent but more severe. Disorders persisted, mostly by recurrence in mood disorders and chronicity in anxiety disorders. Median onset age varied substantially across disorders. Having one disorder increased subjects’ risk of developing another disorder. We found substantial homotypic and heterotypic continuity. Baseline problems predicted the development of diagnosable disorders in adolescence. Non-intact families and low maternal education predicted externalizing disorders. Most morbidity concentrated in 5–10% of the sample, experiencing 34–55% of all severe lifetime disorders. Conclusions. At late adolescence, 22% of youths have experienced a severe episode and 23% only mild episodes. This psychopathology is rather persistent, mostly due to recurrence, showing both monotypic and heterotypic continuity, with family context affecting particularly externalizing disorders. High problem levels at age 11 years are modest precursors of incident adolescent disorders. The burden of mental illness concentrates in 5–10% of the adolescent population.
    Psychological Medicine 06/2015; 45:345-360. · 5.43 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose Classification is the cornerstone of clinical diagnostic practice and research. However, the extant psychiatric classification systems are not well supported by research evidence. In particular, extensive comorbidity among putatively distinct disorders flags an urgent need for fundamental changes in how we conceptualize psychopathology. Over the past decade, research has coalesced on an empirically based model that suggests many common mental disorders are structured according to two correlated latent dimensions: internalizing and externalizing. Methods We review and discuss the development of a dimensional-spectrum model which organizes mental disorders in an empirically based manner. We also touch upon changes in the DSM-5 and put forward recommendations for future research endeavors. Results Our review highlights substantial empirical support for the empirically based internalizing–externalizing model of psychopathology, which provides a parsimonious means of addressing comorbidity. Conclusions As future research goals, we suggest that the field would benefit from: expanding the meta-structure of psychopathology to include additional disorders, development of empirically based thresholds, inclusion of a developmental perspective, and intertwining genomic and neuroscience dimensions with the empirical structure of psychopathology.
    Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 01/2015; · 2.58 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Problems associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) occur frequently in the general population and often co-occur with problems in other domains of psychopathology. In the research presented here these co-occurrence patterns were investigated by integrating a dimensional approach to ASDs into the more general dimensional framework of internalizing and externalizing psychopathology. Factor Analysis was used to develop hierarchical and bi-factor models covering multiple domains of psychopathology in three measurement waves of a longitudinal general population sample (N = 2,230, ages 10-17, 50.8 % female). In all adequately fitting models, autism related problems were part of a specific domain of psychopathology that could be distinguished from the internalizing and externalizing domains. Optimal model fit was found for a bi-factor model with one non-specific factor and four specific factors related to internalizing, externalizing, autism spectrum problems and problems related to attention and orientation. Autism-related problems constitute a specific domain of psychopathology that can be distinguished from the internalizing and externalizing domains. In addition, the co-occurrence patterns in the data indicate the presence of a strong general factor.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 08/2014; · 3.09 Impact Factor