Is There a General Factor of Prevalent Psychopathology During Adulthood?
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).
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ABSTRACT: Background. Research with adults suggests that anxiety is associated with poor control of executive attention. However, in children, it is unclear (a) whether anxiety disorders and non-clinical anxiety are associated with deficits in executive attention, (b) whether such deficits are specific to anxiety versus other psychiatric disorders, and (c) whether there is heterogeneity among anxiety disorders (in particular, specific phobia versus other anxiety disorders). Method. We examined executive attention in 860 children classified into three groups: anxiety disorders (n = 67), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; n = 67) and no psychiatric disorder (n = 726). Anxiety disorders were subdivided into: anxiety disorders excluding specific phobia (n = 43) and specific phobia (n = 21). The Attention Network Task was used to assess executive attention, alerting and orienting. Results. Findings indicated heterogeneity among anxiety disorders, as children with anxiety disorders (excluding specific phobia) showed impaired executive attention, compared with disorder-free children, whereas children with specific phobia showed no executive attention deficit. Among disorder-free children, executive attention was less efficient in those with high, relative to low, levels of anxiety. There were no anxiety-related deficits in orienting or alerting. Children with ADHD not only had poorer executive attention than disorder-free children, but also higher orienting scores, less accurate responses and more variable response times. Conclusions. Impaired executive attention in children (reflected by difficulty inhibiting processing of task-irrelevant information) was not fully explained by general psychopathology, but instead showed specific associations with anxiety disorders (other than specific phobia) and ADHD, as well as with high levels of anxiety symptoms in disorder-free children.
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ABSTRACT: Sparse evidence of a co-aggregation of the risk of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder provides support for a shared but nonspecific genetic etiology of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Temperaments are conceptualized as trait sub-syndromic conditions of major pathologies. This study set out to test the hypothesis of a continuum between schizotypy and affective temperaments versus the alternative hypothesis of their independence based on a cross-sectional, survey design involving 649 (males: 47%) college students. The short 39-item TEMPS-A and the SPQ were used as measures of the affective temperaments and of schizotypy, respectively. Confirmatory factor analyses were applied to a unidimensional model, to a standard correlate traits model, to second-order representations of a common latent structure, and to a bifactor model. Confirmatory bifactor modeling provided evidence against a complete independence of the dimensions subsumed by the affective and the schizotypal traits. The best solution distinguished between two sub-domains grouping positive symptoms and negative symptoms as measured by the SPQ subscales, and a sub-domain related to the affective temperaments as measured by the TEMPS-A. Limitations due to the use of subscales from two different tools should be taken into account.Psychiatry Research 11/2014; 225(1-2). DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2014.10.027 · 2.68 Impact Factor
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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; 43(3). DOI:10.1007/s10802-014-9923-4 · 3.09 Impact Factor