Relating stability of individual dynamical networks to change in psychopathology

Sara van der Tuin*, Ria H A Hoekstra, Sanne H Booij, Albertine J Oldehinkel, Klaas J Wardenaar, David van den Berg, Denny Borsboom, Johanna T W Wigman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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One hypothesis flowing from the network theory of psychopathology is that symptom network structure is associated with psychopathology severity and in turn, one may expect that individual network structure changes with the level of psychopathology severity. However, this expectation has rarely been addressed directly. This study aims to examine (1) the stability of individual contemporaneous symptom networks over a one-year period and (2) whether network stability is associated with a change in psychopathology. We used daily diary data of n = 66 individuals, located along the psychosis severity continuum, from two separate 90-day periods, one year apart (t = 180). Based on the newly developed Individual Network Invariance Test (INIT) to assess symptom-network stability, participants were divided into two groups with stable and unstable networks and we tested whether these groups differed in their absolute change in psychopathology severity. The majority of the sample (n = 51, 77.3%) showed a stable network over time while most individuals showed a decrease in psychopathological severity. We found no significant association between a change in psychopathology severity and individual network stability. Our results call for further critical evaluation of the association between networks and psychopathology to optimize the implementation of clinical applications based on current methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0293200
Number of pages14
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 9-Nov-2023


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