An investigation of the latent structure of mania in the Epidemiologic Catchment Area
Prisciandaro, James J.
MetadataShow full item record
Although a number of prominent theories conceptualize mania as continuous with normal human functioning, it is typically regarded as a categorical (present vs. absent) phenomenon in research and practice. The present dissertation proposed a comprehensive approach to testing structural questions, and applied this approach to the manic symptom data from the Epidemiologic Catchment Area ( n > 10,000). Taxometric and information-theoretic latent distribution modeling analyses both supported a continuous interpretation of mania. Preliminary dimensionality analyses further suggested that this continuous structure was unidimensional. Additionally, continuous models of mania demonstrated a superior ability to predict psychiatric comorbidity, health service utilization, and suicidal behavior, relative to discrete representations of mania. Given the comprehensive nature of the present examination, it is unlikely that the obtained support for a continuous conceptualization of mania was due to methodological artifacts.