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Syndromes of Self-Reported Psychopathology for Ages 18–59 in 29 Societies

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Abstract

This study tested the multi-society generalizability of an eight-syndrome assessment model derived from factor analyses of American adults’ self-ratings of 120 behavioral, emotional, and social problems. The Adult Self-Report (ASR; Achenbach and Rescorla 2003) was completed by 17,152 18–59-year-olds in 29 societies. Confirmatory factor analyses tested the fit of self-ratings in each sample to the eight-syndrome model. The primary model fit index (Root Mean Square Error of Approximation) showed good model fit for all samples, while secondary indices showed acceptable to good fit. Only 5 (0.06%) of the 8,598 estimated parameters were outside the admissible parameter space. Confidence intervals indicated that sampling fluctuations could account for the deviant parameters. Results thus supported the tested model in societies differing widely in social, political, and economic systems, languages, ethnicities, religions, and geographical regions. Although other items, societies, and analytic methods might yield different results, the findings indicate that adults in very diverse societies were willing and able to rate themselves on the same standardized set of 120 problem items. Moreover, their self-ratings fit an eight-syndrome model previously derived from self-ratings by American adults. The support for the statistically derived syndrome model is consistent with previous findings for parent, teacher, and self-ratings of 1½–18-year-olds in many societies. The ASR and its parallel collateral-report instrument, the Adult Behavior Checklist (ABCL), may offer mental health professionals practical tools for the multi-informant assessment of clinical constructs of adult psychopathology that appear to be meaningful across diverse societies.

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Conflict of Interest

Drs. Ivanova, Achenbach, and Turner are employed by the Research Center for Children, Youth, and Families which publishes the ASR.

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In each society, conventions for obtaining informed consent required by the investigator’s institution were followed.

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Correspondence to Masha Y. Ivanova.

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Ivanova, M.Y., Achenbach, T.M., Rescorla, L.A. et al. Syndromes of Self-Reported Psychopathology for Ages 18–59 in 29 Societies. J Psychopathol Behav Assess 37, 171–183 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10862-014-9448-8

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