Antisocial behavior, substance use, and impulsive and aggressive personality traits often co-occur, forming a coherent spectrum of personality and psychopathology. In the current research, the authors developed a novel quantitative model of this spectrum. Over 3 waves of iterative data collection, 1,787 adult participants selected to represent a range across the externalizing spectrum provided extensive data about specific externalizing behaviors. Statistical methods such as item response theory and semiparametric factor analysis were used to model these data. The model and assessment instrument that emerged from the research shows how externalizing phenomena are organized hierarchically and cover a wide range of individual differences. The authors discuss the utility of this model for framing research on the correlates and the etiology of externalizing phenomena.
- Externalizing behaviors