A meta-structural model of common clinical disorder and personality disorder symptoms

Christopher C. Conway, Robert D. Latzman, Robert F. Krueger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A large and consistent research literature demonstrates the superiority of dimensional models of mental disorder. Factor analytic research has mapped the latent dimensions underlying separate sets of mental disorders (e.g., emotional disorders), but a common framework—unencumbered by arbitrary historical boundaries between disorder groups—requires additional research. Using empirically derived measures of three key domains of psychopathological variation, the overarching goal of the current study was to explicate dimensions connecting internalizing, externalizing, and personality disorders. Participants included 1,144 racially diverse undergraduates. Exploratory structural equation modeling analyses revealed seven latent dimensions: core internalizing, core externalizing, antagonism, impulsivity, dutifulness, detachment, and suspiciousness. This meta-structure reflects a more comprehensive model of the architecture of mental disorders than accounts derived from less inclusive assessment batteries. Future empirical work is needed to evaluate the utility of this structural model in etiological research, assessment, and treatment arenas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-106
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of personality disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Guilford Press.


  • Dimensional models
  • Externalizing
  • Factor analysis
  • Internalizing
  • Personality disorder
  • Transdiagnostic

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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