Four decades have elapsed since the introduction for clinical and research purposes of the Symptom Checklist-90(-R). Yet, its underlying dimensional structure has not been clearly delineated. A shift has been observed in the methods utilized-from predominantly exploratory factor analytic in nature in the first two decades or so to different confirmatory methods in recent years. A need remains to search for a structure that remains invariant across samples and nations. In that context, the present study attempted to replicate and extend recent findings yielded in a Hungarian general population sample (N = 2,874) with two psychiatric patient samples from Hungary (N = 972) and The Netherlands (N = 1,902). In doing so, four models were contrasted: the one-factor model, Derogatis' nine factor model, a second-ordered factor model, and a bi-factor model. The bi-factor model was shown to yield the closest fit to the data in both countries. Further studies are needed to determine the stable number and kind of subscale scores that reflect the specific (primary) symptoms best, that is, those subscales with minimal shared variance with the overall general psychological distress dimension.

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Psychiatry Research
Department of Psychiatry

Urbán, R., Arrindell, W. A., Demetrovics, Z., Unoka, Z., & Timman, R. (2016). Cross-cultural confirmation of bi-factor models of a symptom distress measure: Symptom Checklist-90-Revised in clinical samples. Psychiatry Research, 239, 265–274. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2016.03.039