Category: Transdiagnostic

Symposium

The Network Approach to Psychopathology: Where Do We Come From, and Where Do We Go?

Saturday, November 18
1:45 PM - 3:15 PM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom M & N, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Research Methods
Presentation Type: Symposium

Over the last years, mental disorders have been increasingly conceptualized as networks of mutually reinforcing symptoms in clinical research. Conceptual foundations for this framework were laid in 2008, and the first empirical paper was published in 2010. This talk serves two main goals. First, I will provide a conceptual introduction to network analysis, distinguish it from alternative accounts that also explain why symptoms tend to co-occur in syndromes, and cover the three most commonly investigated topics: comorbidity, prediction, and intervention. Pertaining to comorbidity, the network approach provides a powerful new framework to explain why certain disorders may co-occur more often than others. For prediction, studies have consistently found that symptom networks of people with mental disorders show different characteristics than that of healthy individuals, and preliminary evidence suggests that networks of healthy people show early warning signals before shifting into disordered states. For intervention, centrality is the most commonly studied topic, and numerous papers have suggested that targeting the most central symptoms may offer novel therapeutic strategies. Second, recent work has moved from the analysis of cross-sectional data in large samples to analyzing time-series data. I will discuss the main findings in this novel field, stress the importance of idiographic studies for psychopathology research, and elaborate how analysis of such temporal data enable us to answer important questions.

Eiko I. Fried

Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Amsterdam

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