Research Audit on Clinical Utility of Dimensional Disruptive Mood and Behavior Psychopathologies in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Practice

Ji Woo Suk, Katrina M. Poppert Cordts, William Garvey, Arica Lerdahl, Brigette Soltis-Vaughan, Alexandra Bohn, Ryan Edwards, Robert James Blair, Soonjo Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


To investigate the utility of dimensional psychopathologies of disruptive mood and behavior disorders (DBDs) by applying latent profile analysis (LPA) for characterization of youth referred to the tertiary outpatient clinic of child and adolescent psychiatry clinic and pharmacological treatment choices. One hundred fifty-eight children and adolescents with significant DBDs symptoms participated. Core dimensional psychopathologies of DBDs (irritability, callous-unemotional trait, and reactive-proactive aggressive behavior), DSM diagnoses, prescribed medications, and behavioral and emotional problems (Child Behavior Checklist, CBCL) were measured at baseline (clinic intake) and at 3-month follow-up. Latent Profile Analysis (LPA) was applied to characterize the study population based on the levels and interrelations among the core dimensional DBDs psychopathologies. Following LPA, the differences in clinical and treatment features between the latent classes were analyzed. LPA revealed two latent classes based on severity of DBDs symptoms. Class 1 (the moderate group) was characterized by relatively low scores on all trans-diagnostic indicators, whereas class 2 (the severe/critical group) showed higher levels of the dimensional psychopathologies and the majority of CBCL subscales. In addition, the severe/critical group was more often prescribed antipsychotic medications, and also experienced more frequent medication changes (addition, increasing the dose, and trial of different medications). Our findings suggested that application of LPA to a cluster of dimensional DBDs psychopathologies may provide valuable characterization of the youths referred to a tertiary outpatient child and adolescent psychiatric clinic, and offer insight into the providers' decision making on psychotropic medications, by overall severity of these psychopathologies rather than by single categorical diagnosis or single externalizing psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number742148
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
StatePublished - Apr 6 2022


  • aggression
  • callous-unemotional trait
  • dimensional psychopathology
  • irritability
  • latent profile analysis (LPA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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