Testing cold and hot cognitive control as moderators of a network of comorbid psychopathology symptoms in adolescence

Madole, James Wilson
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Comorbidity is pervasive across psychopathological symptoms, diagnoses, and domains. Network analysis is a method for investigating symptom-level associations that underlie comorbidity, particularly through bridge symptoms connecting diagnostic syndromes. We applied network analyses of comorbidity to data from a population-based sample of adolescents (n = 849). We implemented a method for assessing nonparametric moderation of psychopathology networks to evaluate differences in network structure across levels of intelligence and emotional control. Symptoms generally clustered by clinical diagnoses, but specific between-cluster bridge connections emerged. Internalizing symptoms demonstrated unique connections with aggression symptoms of interpersonal irritability, whereas externalizing symptoms showed more diffuse interconnections. Aggression symptoms identified as bridge nodes in the cross-sectional network were enriched for longitudinal associations with internalizing symptoms. Cross-domain connections did not significantly vary across intelligence but were weaker at lower emotional control. Our findings highlight transdiagnostic symptom relationships that may underlie co-occurrence of clinical diagnoses or higher-order factors of psychopathology