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Mental disorders are often conceptualized as single latent categorical or dimensional entities. The network approach to psychopathology suggests that instead, mental disorders are caused by a network of interacting nodes that result in an emergent disorder. In most applications of the network approach, nodes have been limited to previously codified symptoms of a disorder. We propose an expanded network approach in which nodes represent (1) observable,
(2) individual-level variables that are (3) hypothesized to play a causal role in disorders.
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