- Comorbidity: a network perspective
- Behavioral and Brain Sciences
- Volume | Issue number
- 33 | 2-3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
The pivotal problem of comorbidity research lies in the psychometric foundation it rests on, that is, latent variable theory, in which a mental disorder is viewed as a latent variable that causes a constellation of symptoms. From this perspective, comorbidity is a (bi)directional relationship between multiple latent variables. We argue that such a latent variable perspective encounters serious problems in the study of comorbidity, and offer a radically different conceptualization in terms of a network approach, where comorbidity is hypothesized to arise from direct relations between symptoms of multiple disorders. We propose a method to visualize comorbidity networks and, based on an empirical network for major depression and generalized anxiety, we argue that this approach generates realistic hypotheses about pathways to comorbidity, overlapping symptoms, and diagnostic boundaries, that are not naturally accommodated by latent variable models: Some pathways to comorbidity through the symptom space are more likely than others; those pathways generally have the same direction (i.e., from symptoms of one disorder to symptoms of the other); overlapping symptoms play an important role in comorbidity; and boundaries between diagnostic categories are necessarily fuzzy.
- go to publisher's site
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.