Translating the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP) From Potential to Practice: Ten Research Questions

Christopher C. Conway, Roman Kotov, Robert F. Krueger, Avshalom Caspi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP) is a novel diagnostic system grounded in empirical research into the architecture of mental illness. Its basic units are continuous dimensions—as opposed to categories—that are organized into a hierarchy according to patterns of symptom co-occurrence observed in quantitative studies. Previous HiTOP discussions have focused on existing evidence regarding the model’s structure and ability to account for neurobiological, social, cultural, and clinical variation. The present article looks ahead to the next decade of applied research and clinical practice using the HiTOP rubric. We highlight 10 topics where HiTOP has the potential to make significant breakthroughs. Research areas include genetic influences, environmental contributions, neural mechanisms, real-time dynamics, and lifespan development of psychopathology. We also discuss development of novel assessments, forecasting methods, and treatments. Finally, we consider implications for clinicians and educators. For each of these domains, we propose directions for future research and venture hypotheses as to what HiTOP will reveal about psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)873-885
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (Grant R01MH122537).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Psychological Association


  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology
  • diagnosis
  • dimensional models

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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