A psychometric validation of a developmental psychopathology measure: The Youth Experience Tracker Instrument (YETI)

Poster B65, Tuesday, October 9, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Victoria C. Patterson1,2,8, Alissa Pencer1,2,7, Barbara Pavlova1,4,8, Alim Awadia8, Alyson Zwicker1,3,8, Emily Howes Vallis1,4,8, Niamh Campbell1,6, Vlad Drobinin1,5,8, Lynn E. Mackenzie1,2,8, Rudolf Uher1,2,3,4,5,8; 1Dalhousie University, 2Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, 3Department of Pathology, 4Department of Psychiatry, 5Department of Medical Neuroscience, 6Faculty of Medicine, 7Izaak Walton Killam (IWK) Hospital, 8Nova Scotia Health Authority

Severe mental illness (SMI) is defined as any major psychotic or affective disorder, including bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia. Antecedents are early manifestations of risk for SMI, which, if identified early, may allow for targeted intervention to prevent the onset of SMI. However, there are no brief self-report measures that screen for antecedents in clinical and research settings. The Youth Experience Tracker Instrument (YETI), which was developed to address this need, measures six antecedents: affective lability, anxiety, basic symptoms, psychotic-like experiences, insomnia, and depressive symptoms. This study aims to establish the psychometric properties, factor structure, and optimal cut-off points of the YETI. The sample used to validate this measure was composed of 208 offspring of parents with and without SMI aged 8 to 21-years participating in the Families Overcoming Risks and Building Opportunities for Well-being (FORBOW) study. A confirmatory factor analysis procedure comparing a bifactor, single, higher-order, and multiple correlated factors model was used to establish the questionnaire's structure. Concurrent validity was evaluated through correlations of YETI subscales with established measures of each antecedent. Receiver operating curves were used to select a cut-off point for the scale. YETI was internally consistent with a Cronbach's alpha of 0.91. This study’s findings, which will be discussed in more detail, validate a new instrument that may facilitate detection of youth at high risk for the development of SMI by screening and monitoring antecedents.

Topic Area: Transdiagnostic Approaches

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