Field dependence and the factor structure of the general health questionnaire in normal subjects

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Abstract

The factor structure of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) was investigated in a non-clinical sample in relation to the role of field dependence (assessed by the Hidden Figures Test) in influencing the extent to which different aspects of psychoneurotic disturbance are differentiated. Greater differentiation was achieved by the field independent (FI) group than by the field dependent (FD) group, as shown by: (i) the proportion of variance accounted for by the general factor in the principal components analysis of the 60-item GHQ data was lower (17 per cent) in the FI group than in the FD group (33 per cent); (ii) the factor loadings in the FI group, but not the FD group, corresponded closely with the four subscales of the 28-item scaled GHQ; (iii) the interscale correlations were significantly lower in the FI group than in the FD group. The implications of these findings are discussed, particularly their relevance to 'unitary' and 'distinct-syndrome' models of minor anxiety and depressive disorders, and the greater probability of occurrence of mixed states in field dependent subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-400
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Volume140
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1982
Externally publishedYes

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