A Detailed Hierarchical Model of Psychopathology: From Individual Symptoms up to the General Factor of Psychopathology

Miriam K. Forbes, Matthew Sunderland, Ronald M. Rapee, Philip J. Batterham, Alison L. Calear, Natacha Carragher, Camilo Ruggero, Mark Zimmerman, Andrew J. Baillie, Samantha J. Lynch, Louise Mewton, Tim Slade, Robert F. Krueger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Much of the knowledge about the relationships among domains of psychopathology is built on the diagnostic categories described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), and relatively little research has examined the symptom-level structure of psychopathology. The aim of this study was to delineate a detailed hierarchical model of psychopathology—from individual symptoms up to a general factor of psychopathology—allowing both higher- and lower-order dimensions to depart from the structure of the DSM. We explored the hierarchical structure of hundreds of symptoms spanning 18 DSM disorders in two large samples—one from the general population in Australia (n = 3,175) and the other a treatment-seeking clinical sample from the United States (n = 1,775). There was marked convergence between the two samples, offering new perspectives on higher-order dimensions of psychopathology. We also found several noteworthy departures from the structure of the DSM in the symptom-level data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-168
Number of pages30
JournalClinical Psychological Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • HiTOP
  • empirical classification
  • structure of psychopathology
  • symptom-level analyses

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A Detailed Hierarchical Model of Psychopathology: From Individual Symptoms up to the General Factor of Psychopathology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this