A Factor Mixture Model of Child and Adolescent Psychopathology and Related Childhood Trauma

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Abstract

Background: Research has yet to explore a range of categorical, continuous and a combination of both (factor mixture models) in regards to the structure of child and adolescent psychopathology. Childhood trauma is consistently associated with a wide range of child and adolescent mental health problems. The most accurate model to represent child and adolescent psychopathology was utilised to explore the relationship between child mental health and trauma.
Method: The B-CAMHS dataset (n = 7, 997) representing 95% of children and adolescents of Great Britain was utilised for analysis. Clinicians made use of the SDQ and DAWBA to assign clinical diagnoses based on DSM-IV/ICD-10 criteria. Analyses included latent class analysis, factor analysis and factor mixture analysis. Regression was then utilised to explore childhood traumas relationship with child and adolescent mental health.
Results: The results demonstrated significant sex differences regarding prevalence of various traumatic experiences. From the analyses, it was determined that a three factor, three class solution (FMM) was the best representation of the data. The identified classes included a baseline (n = 6851), co-morbid latent class (n = 377) and an externalizing latent class (n = 120). The strongest predictor of the externalising class was exposure to severe domestic violence. The strongest predictor for the co-morbid class was rape.
Discussion:
This research demonstrated that categorical or continuous models of child and adolescent psychopathology are individually poor compared to the factor mixture model which incorporates both approaches. The importance of severe domestic violence and rape are highlighted in respects to their effects on child and adolescent mental health.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychology Practice
Publication statusIn preparation - 1 Dec 2017

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