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Int J Methods Psychiatr Res. 2010 Jun;19(2):63-73. doi: 10.1002/mpr.301.

Searching for valid psychiatric phenotypes: discrete latent variable models.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA. jeannie-marie@jhu.edu

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

A primary challenge in psychiatric genetics is the lack of a completely validated system of classification for mental disorders. Appropriate statistical methods are needed to empirically derive more homogenous disorder subtypes.

METHODS:

Using the framework of Robins and Guze's ('Establishment of diagnostic validity in psychiatric illness: its application to schizophrenia', American Journal of Psychiatry, 1970, 126(7), 983-987) five phases, latent variable models to derive and validate diagnostic groups are described. A process of iterative validation is proposed through which refined phenotypes would facilitate research on genetics, pathogenesis, and treatment, which would in turn aid further refinement of disorder definitions.

CONCLUSIONS:

Latent variable methods are useful tools for defining and validating psychiatric phenotypes. Further methodological research should address sample size issues and application to iterative validation.

PMID:
20187060
PMCID:
PMC2877764
DOI:
10.1002/mpr.301
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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