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November 1972

Factorial Invariance of Symptom Dimensions in Anxious and Depressive Neuroses

Author Affiliations

Baltimore; Bethesda, Md; Baltimore; Philadelphia
From the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Drs. Derogatis and Covi); the Psychopharmacology Research Branch, National Institute of Mental Health (Dr. Lipman); and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (Dr. Rickels).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1972;27(5):659-665. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1972.01750290069013

Five primary neurotic-symptom dimensions were examined regarding dimensional constancy across the nosological categories of anxiety states and depressive neuroses. Samples were comprised of 641 anxious patients and 251 depressed neurotics who completed pretreatment self-ratings on the Symptom Distress Checklist (SCL). Dimensional representations of the five symptom constructs-Somatization, Obsessive-Compulsive, Interpersonal Sensitivity, Depression, and Anxiety-were independently derived through factor analysis.

Results indicated a generally high level of constancy for the set of symptom dimensions across diagnostic class. Differences observed tended to involve qualitative distinctions in individual affective components-the Anxiety and Depression dimensions. Discussion focuses on the relevance and importance of factorial invariance (constancy) for dimensional models in psychopathology and implications of the findings for the nosology of neurotic affective disorders.