Network Structure of Youth-Collateral Discrepancies in Reported Psychopathology Symptoms


Objective- Evidence shows that reports of psychopathology symptoms from informants and youth differ. Such discrepancies are dependent on informant type and psychopathology characteristics but may also be related to socio-demographic and cultural factors. This study quantified youth-collateral discrepancies in symptoms and assessed the network structure of these discrepancies across psychopathology domains. Method- The sample, N = 5094,was extracted from the Philadelphia Neuro-developmental Cohort, a racially and socioeconomically diverse community-based sample of youth in the United States and consisted of participants ages 11-17 years old with both youth and collateral reports on psychopathology symptoms. We examined youth-collateral discrepancies and conducted network analysis to examine discrepancy patterns across the spectrum of psychopathology domains. In a novel approach, networks were constructed using youth-collateral difference scores to identify discrepancy patterns accounting for the effects of youth and collateral factors.Results- Across all domains, agreement ranged from just slight to fair. Psychosis symptoms had the lowest Cohen’s kappas with a range from 0.03 to 0.17. Absolute difference scores were greater than average for Black youth and for youth of low socioeconomic status. Difference score networks compared across race, socio-economic strata, sex and age-groups were not statistically significant. Difference scores were higher than average for all psychiatric disorder groups with the largest difference and the sparsest network structure for psychosis spectrum.Conclusion- Consideration of race and socioeconomic status is important when psychopathology symptom reports are obtained from youth and collaterals. Across major disorder groups, psychosis spectrum appear to have a distinct network structure of youth-collateral discrepancies. Such discrepancies could potentially be leveraged for early identification.

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