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The Psychometric Network Structure of Mental Health in the General Population

Kugelmann, M.N. (2022) The Psychometric Network Structure of Mental Health in the General Population.

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Abstract:Mental health is not only defined by the absence of psychological distress, but also by the presence of well-being. The two continua model supports this view. Psychometric network analysis allows identifying the most central domains of mental health and the most central underlying symptoms that make up these domains, which are assumed to have the strongest influence on the entire network. Previous studies mainly investigated clinical samples or aspects of overall mental health, while the current study aims to research the network structure of overall mental health in the general population. Psychometric networks were estimated (N = 1663) on the domain level, and on a domain/symptom level. Centrality, bridge centrality, and the general structure of the network were investigated, and differences between genders and marital status were explored. In both the networks (domain level, and domain/symptom level), depression was the most central domain. In the network on the domain level, that was followed by anxiety, and in the network that combines the domain and symptom level, mastery and personal growth also had high centralities. Bridge nodes were depression and emotional well-being (domain level), and depression and paranoid ideation (symptom level). No differences were found between the network structure of men and women. Between married and not married participants, differences in global strength were identified, with higher strength centralities for social well-being and psychoticism in the network of not married participants. The findings confirm the two continua model, as it became apparent that psychological distress and well-being are two separate constructs, which are nevertheless correlated and influence each other. Further, the study broadens the understanding of overall mental health in the general population. Results can be used to develop effective and efficient interventions to improve mental health in the general population.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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