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Current Psychiatry Reviews

Editor-in-Chief

ISSN (Print): 1573-4005
ISSN (Online): 1875-6441

The Latent Structure of Mental Disorders: A Taxometric Update on the Categorical vs Dimensional Debate

Author(s): Nick Haslam

Volume 3 , Issue 3 , 2007

Page: [172 - 177] Pages: 6

DOI: 10.2174/157340007781369685

Price: $65

Abstract

Taxometric analysis is a statistical methodology for testing between categorical and dimensional models of latent variables. This article reviews taxometric research on the structure of mental disorders conducted since previous reviews in 2003, a period in which the quantity of this work has more than doubled. Taxometric studies have addressed a wide variety of mental disorders whose status as discrete categories or dimensional continua has been controversial, including unipolar depression, schizophrenia subtypes, post-traumatic stress disorder, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. They continue to yield categorical and dimensional findings with approximately equal frequency, and with adequate levels of replication. These findings are summarized, practical implications are discussed, and several concerns about current taxometric practice are raised.

Keywords: Psychiatric research, categorical classification system, personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder


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