Testing structural models of DSM-IV symptoms of common forms of child and adolescent psychopathology

Benjamin B. Lahey, Paul J. Rathouz, Carol Van Hulle, Richard C. Urbano, Robert F. Krueger, Brooks Applegate, Holly A. Garriock, Derek A. Chapman, Irwin D. Waldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

202 Scopus citations

Abstract

Confirmatory factor analyses were conducted of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) symptoms of common mental disorders derived from structured interviews of a representative sample of 4,049 twin children and adolescents and their adult caretakers. A dimensional model based on the assignment of symptoms to syndromes in DSM-IV fit better than alternative models, but some dimensions were highly correlated. Modest sex and age differences in factor loadings and correlations were found that suggest that the dimensions of psychopathology are stable across sex and age, but slightly more differentiated at older ages and in males. The dimensions of symptoms were found to be hierarchically organized within higher-order " externalizing" and "internalizing" dimensions, which accounted for much of their variance. Major depression and generalized anxiety disorder were substantially correlated with both the "externalizing" dimension and the "internalizing" dimension, however, suggesting the need to reconceptualize the nature of these higher-order dimensions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-206
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008

Keywords

  • Children and adolescents
  • Confirmatory factor analysis
  • Psychopathology
  • Taxonomy

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