Comorbidity profile of mental disorders among adolescents: A latent class analysis

Psychiatry Res. 2019 Aug;278:228-234. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2019.06.007. Epub 2019 Jun 6.


The aim of this study was to identify the number of comorbidity profiles among adolescents. Sociodemographic factors associated with the comorbidity profiles were also examined. Latent class analysis was conducted using data from the National Comorbidity Survey Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A), a representative sample of adolescents (N = 10,123) in the United States. Latent classes were derived from 26 lifetime mental disorders which were assessed using the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Instrument (CIDI). A three-class solution provided the best fit for the data, with classes labelled as comorbid emotional disorders (Class I), comorbid behavioural disorders (Class II), and normative (Class III). Class I (15.62% of the participants) included adolescents with a high probability of having anxiety, depressive, and intermittent explosive disorder. Class II (6.97%) was characterised by adolescents with a high probability of having substance use, behavioural disorders, and major depression. Class III (77.41%) was characterised by adolescents with a low probability of having any mental disorders. Characterising comorbid profile of mental disorders using person-based approach yields a higher-order classification that could have important clinical implications.

Keywords: Adolescents; Comorbidity; Latent class analysis; Psychopathology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Latent Class Analysis
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mood Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology