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Clinical Science Brown Bag Series

Tuesday, January 09, 2018,

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  • Location: Wilson Hall • 111 21St Ave S • Nashville, TN 37240
  • Room: 316

David Zald, PhD

Department of Psychology

Vanderbilt University

General Factor of Psychopathology

The general factor of psychopathology, also known as the P-factor, is hypothesized to reflect a nonspecific vulnerability for, or feature of, diverse forms of psychopathology. This concept emerged initially from factor analytic studies on the structure of psychopathology. I will review the current evidence for the validity of the general factor model, including criticisms of the bifactor models that we have used to test the model.  Ultimately, the utility of a general factor model depends on its ability to explain aspects of psychopathology and make predictions relevant to the development, neurobehavioral correlates and prognosis of psychopathology. A small, but rapidly growing literature indeed suggests the utility of the general factor model.  The implications of the model for understanding psychopathology. including severe forms of psychopathology will be discussed.