Correlates of a general psychopathology factor in a clinical sample of childhood sexual abuse survivors

Philip Hyland, Jamie Murphy, Mark Shevlin, Steven Carey, Frédérique Vallières, David Murphy, Ask Elklit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) increases risk for most psychiatric disorders. There is evidence thatthe structure of psychopathology can be explained by a number of latent dimensions of psychopathology includinga ‘General Psychopathology’ (P) factor. The objective of the current study was to provide the firstassessment as to whether P is identifiable, and what its correlates might be in a clinical sample.Methods: An adult, clinical sample of Danish CSA survivors (N = 420) was assessed using the Millon ClinicalMultiaxial Inventory-III. Confirmatory factory analysis (CFA) was used to assess the latent structure of ninepsychiatric disorders, and structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to determine correlates of the bestfittingdimensional model.Results: CFA results favoured a bifactor model including three specific dimensions of psychopathology,“Internalizing”, “Externalizing”, and “Thought Disorder”, and a bi-factor “P”. A SEM model that included tenpredictors was a good fit to the data and explained 55% of variance in ‘P’. The ‘P’ factor was significantlyassociated with emotional coping, negative self-worth, traumatic life events, and anxious attachments.Limitations: Psychiatric disorders were assessed using self-report measures, and the sample was predominatelyfemale.Conclusions: Results provide initial evidence of P in a clinical sample and several unique correlates of this factorwere identified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-115
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Early online date17 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - May 2018


  • p-factor
  • internalising
  • externalising
  • Childhood sexual abuse (CSA)
  • CFA


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