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Psychosis within dimensional and categorical models of mental illness

Seamus Fleming, Mark Shevlin, Jamie Murphy & Stephen Joseph.
Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches; Volume 6, Issue 1, 2014, pages 4-15.

Abstract

There has been recent interest in dimensional and super-ordinate factor models of psychopathology. While early studies modelled psychopathology in terms of two dimensions representing “Internalising” and “Externalising” behaviours, more recent studies have begun to identify a distinct “Psychosis” dimension. This study estimated a global dimensional model of psychopathology that included all three dimensions. A categorical model was also used to explain heterogeneity across the dimensions. Using data from the National Comorbidity Survey, 11 Axis I diagnoses, conduct disorder and three indicators of psychosis were used in exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses which identified three correlated dimensions: Internalising, Externalising and Psychosis. Latent profile analysis, based on the factor scores from these dimensions, identified five homogeneous groups that differed both qualitatively and quantitatively. The benefits of person-centred modelling of the hierarchical dimensions of psychopathology are discussed.

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