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An interpretive thematic analysis of the p-factor literature and an empirical investigation of the relationship between the p-factor and childhood trauma and reflective function

Gibbon, Laura; (2017) An interpretive thematic analysis of the p-factor literature and an empirical investigation of the relationship between the p-factor and childhood trauma and reflective function. Doctoral thesis (D.Clin.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The psychiatric diagnostic classification system is the dominant conceptual framework within which clinical practice and mental health research are conducted. Recent research has identified the ‘p-factor’, a tendency towards experiencing symptoms of psychopathology comorbidly (Caspi et al., 2014), which is part of a broad attempt to develop an empirical nosology for psychopathology. Part one of this thesis is a systematic review which critically analyses this body of quantitative research, using a reviewing method adapted from thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Empirical nosological research into Axis I and personality disorder symptomatology has tended to be conducted separately. However, the ‘p-factor’, describing Axis I comorbidity, and a ‘general personality disorder factor’ (Sharp et al., 2015) have both been extracted, raising the questions of how they relate to one another and whether they reflect psychopathological severity. Part two of this thesis is an empirical paper comparing alternative models of the comorbidity structure of internalising, antisocial, thought disorder and borderline symptoms, and the relationship between the extracted p-factor and childhood trauma and reflective function. Research attempting to establish an empirically-grounded nosology for mental health employs complex statistical techniques and requires access to large amounts of comprehensive data, which may make it difficult for clinicians to undertake. However, this influential area of research has potentially significant implications for mental health practice. Part three of this thesis is a critical appraisal of the research process, with particular reference to the ways in which a clinical perspective might be important for this type of research.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Clin.Psy
Title: An interpretive thematic analysis of the p-factor literature and an empirical investigation of the relationship between the p-factor and childhood trauma and reflective function
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: p factor, nosology, factor analysis
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1574529
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