A transdiagnostic network approach to psychosis

Johanna T.W. Wigman*, Stijn De Vos, Marieke Wichers, Jim Van Os, Agna A. Bartels-Velthuis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Our ability to accurately predict development and outcome of early expression of psychosis is limited. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying psychopathology, a broader, transdiagnostic approach that acknowledges the complexity of mental illness is required. The upcoming network paradigm may be fruitful here. In this study, we applied a transdiagnostic network approach to psychosis. Data pertain to the third wave (second followup) of a sample of adolescents originally recruited at age 7-8 years. At baseline, N = 347 children with auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) and N = 347 control children were included. N = 293 of these N = 694 children participated in the second follow-up (mean age 18.9 years; 59% women). Participants completed the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE) and the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21). A specific type of network model, the Ising model, was applied to dichotomized CAPE and DASS items. Interconnections of experiences within the same domain were observed, as well as interconnections between experiences of multiple domains of psychopathology. Quantitative and qualitative differences in network architecture were found in networks of psychopathological experiences in individuals with or without AVH at age 7-8 years. Although adolescents with or without previous AVH did not differ in their current CAPE scores, differences in the interconnectedness of psychopathology items were still found, possibly mirroring a difference in psychosis liability. This study showed that it is possible to map transdiagnostic experiences of psychopathology as a network and that important information can be derived from this approach in comparison to regular approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-132
Number of pages11
JournalSchizophrenia Bulletin
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • CAPE
  • DASS
  • Network analysis
  • Psychosis
  • Transdiagnostic


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