Searching for valid psychiatric phenotypes: Discrete latent variable models

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Introduction: A primary challenge in psychiatric genetics is the lack of a completely validated system of classification for mental disorders. Appropriate statistical methods are needed to empirically derive more homogenous disorder subtypes. Methods: Using the framework of Robins and Guze's ('Establishment of diagnostic validity in psychiatric illness: its application to schizophrenia', American Journal of Psychiatry, 1970, 126 (7), 983-987) five phases, latent variable models to derive and validate diagnostic groups are described. A process of iterative validation is proposed through which refined phenotypes would facilitate research on genetics, pathogenesis, and treatment, which would in turn aid further refinement of disorder definitions. Conclusions: Latent variable methods are useful tools for defining and validating psychiatric phenotypes. Further methodological research should address sample size issues and application to iterative validation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Latent class analysis
  • Phenotype
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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