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The structure of psychopathology and association with poor sleep, self-harm, suicidality, risky sexual behavior, and low self-esteem in a population sample of adolescents

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 May 2020

Matthew Sunderland
Affiliation:
The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use, Sydney Medical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Miriam K. Forbes
Affiliation:
Centre for Emotional Health, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Louise Mewton
Affiliation:
Centre for Healthy Brain Aging, School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Andrew Baillie
Affiliation:
Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Natacha Carragher
Affiliation:
World Health Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland Office of Medical Education, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Samantha J. Lynch
Affiliation:
The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use, Sydney Medical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Philip J. Batterham
Affiliation:
Centre for Mental Health Research, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
Alison L. Calear
Affiliation:
Centre for Mental Health Research, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
Cath Chapman
Affiliation:
The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use, Sydney Medical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Nicola C. Newton
Affiliation:
The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use, Sydney Medical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Maree Teesson
Affiliation:
The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use, Sydney Medical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Tim Slade
Affiliation:
The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use, Sydney Medical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Corresponding

Abstract

There is a growing body of evidence highlighting the presence of a single general dimension of psychopathology that can account for multiple associations across mental and substance use disorders. However, relatively little evidence has emerged regarding the validity of this model with respect to a range of factors that have been previously implicated across multiple disorders. The current study utilized a cross-sectional population survey of adolescents (n = 2,003) to examine the extent to which broad psychopathology factors account for specific associations between psychopathology and key validators: poor sleep, self-harm, suicidality, risky sexual behavior, and low self-esteem. Confirmatory factor models, latent class models, and factor mixture models were estimated to identify the best structure of psychopathology. Structural equation models were then estimated to examine the broad and specific associations between each psychopathology indicator and the validators. A confirmatory factor model with three lower-order factors, representing internalizing, externalizing, and psychotic-like experiences, and a single higher-order factor evidenced the best fit. The associations between manifest indicators of psychopathology and validators were largely nonspecific. However, significant and large direct effects were found between several pairwise associations. These findings have implications for the identification of potential targets for intervention and/or tailoring of prevention programs.

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Regular Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2020

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The structure of psychopathology and association with poor sleep, self-harm, suicidality, risky sexual behavior, and low self-esteem in a population sample of adolescents
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