The measurement of psychopathology and associated processes

Our ability to advance our understanding of psychopathology is inherently limited by the tools and frameworks we adopt. I have two lines of work based on this premise.

1) Instruments assessing clinical constructs have often been developed and validated in non-clinical settings (e.g., with university subject pools). Limited work has been conducted examining the validity and reliability of these instruments in more transdiagnostic clinical samples despite their prevalence in clinical research spanning a variety of psychiatric disorders. We have provided some of the very first psychometric research on instruments assessing constructs of significant clinical interest with a large, complex, and heterogenous psychiatric population.

Relevant work

  • Beard, C., Hsu, K. J., Rifkin, L. S., Busch, A., & Björgvinsson, T. (2016). Validation of the PHQ-9 in a psychiatric sample. Journal of Affective Disorders, 193, 267-273. Doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2015.12.075
  • Rifkin, L., Beard, C., Hsu, K.J., Garner, L., & Björgvinsson, T. (2016). Psychometric properties of the Anxiety Sensitivity Index-3 in an acute and heterogeneous treatment sample. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 36: 99-102. Doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2015.09.010
  • Stein, A.T., Hearon, B., Beard, C., Hsu, K.J., & Björgvinsson, T. (2016). Properties of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Ways of Coping Checklist in a Diagnostically Diverse Partial Hospital Sample. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 72(1), 49-57.
  • Hsu, K., Iwamoto, D.K. (2014). Testing for measurement invariance in the Conformity to Masculine Norms-46 across Whites and Asian American college men: development and validity of the CMNI-29. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 15 (4), 397-406. Doi: 10.1037/a0034548
  • Hsu, K.J., Kertz, S., Stevens, K., Petersen, D., Sigurjonsdottir, O., Beard, C., & Björgvinsson, T. (2019). Reflection reconsidered: A psychometric study of the Ruminative Responses Scale in a transdiagnostic psychiatric population and an unselected student population. Manuscript in submission.
  • Hsu, K.J., Forgeard, M., Beard, C., & Björgvinsson, T. (2019). Self-reported attentional control and psychopathology: Psychometric properties and characteristics of the Attentional Control Scale (ACS) in a transdiagnostic clinical sample. Manuscript in submission.

2) Traditional approaches to psychopathology (e.g., the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) often fail at adequately characterizing clinical disorder, as suggested by high comorbidity rates and significant heterogeneity within diagnostic categories. Therefore, alternative approaches to understanding psychopathology are needed to better carve nature at its joints. We have employed two data-intensive approaches to characterize psychopathology in a sample with significant heterogeneity and comorbidity.

Relevant work

  • Beard, C., Milner, A., Forgeard, M., Fried, E.I., Hsu, K.J., Treadway, M., Leonard, C.V., Kertz, S., & Björgvinsson, T. (2016). A network analysis approach to depression and anxiety comorbidity in adults with severe mental illness. Psychological Medicine, 46 (16), 3359-3369.
  • Hsu, K.J.+, Mullarkey, M.+, Dobias, M., Beard, C., & Björgvinsson, T. (2019). Expanding the network: Examining the influence of repetitive negative thinking and experiential avoidance on depression and anxiety symptom network predictability. Manuscript in preparation.
  • Weissman, I., Rutter, L., Hsu, K.J., Nordberg, S., Wadsworth, L.P., Beard, C., & Björgvinsson, T. (2019). Data-driven approaches to psychopathology: combining factor and latent profile analytics to characterize complex psychiatric patients. Manuscript in preparation.

+Indicates the authors contributed equally.

Kean J. Hsu
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

My research interests include attention and executive functioning, repetitive negative thinking, and emotional disorders.