Three-and-a-Half-Factor Model? The Genetic and Environmental Structure of the CBCL/6–18 Internalizing Grouping

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In the present article, multivariate genetic item analyses were employed to address questions regarding the ontology and the genetic and environmental etiology of the Anxious/Depressed, Withdrawn, and Somatic Complaints syndrome dimensions of the Internalizing grouping of the Child Behavior Checklist/6-18 (CBCL/6-18). Using common and independent pathway genetic factor modeling, it was examined whether these syndrome dimensions can be ascribed a realist ontology. Subsequently, the structures of the genetic and environmental influences giving rise to the observed symptom covariation were examined. Maternal ratings of a population-based sample of 17,511 Dutch twins of mean age 7.4 (SD = 0.4) on the items of the Internalizing grouping of the Dutch CBCL/ 6-18 were analyzed. Applications of common and independent pathway modeling demonstrated that the Internalizing syndrome dimensions may be better understood as a composite of unconstrained genetic and environmental influences than as causally relevant entities generating the observed symptom covariation. Furthermore, the results indicate a common genetic basis for anxiety, depression, and withdrawn behavior, with the distinction between these syndromes being driven by the individual-specific environment. Implications for the substantive interpretation of these syndrome dimensions are discussed. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-268
Number of pages15
JournalBehavior Genetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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