Transdiagnostic Mechanisms of Psychopathology in Youth: Executive Functions, Dependent Stress, and Rumination

Hannah R. Snyder, Naomi P. Friedman, Benjamin L. Hankin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Executive function (EF) deficits have been proposed as transdiagnostic risk factors for psychopathology, and recent research suggests EF impairments are associated with what is shared across forms of psychopathology (p factor). However, most research has not employed methods that differentiate between EF components, and little is known about the mediating mechanisms linking EF and psychopathology dimensions. The current study tested associations between the latent unity/diversity model of EF and latent dimensions of psychopathology and investigated mediating mechanisms in a community sample of 292 youth age 13–22. The results confirmed the finding that poor EF is associated with internalizing psychopathology in older youth via higher dependent stress and rumination, and showed that this pathway was transdiagnostic, predicting the p factor rather than internalizing specifically. Links with psychopathology were specific to the common EF factor, rather than updating- or shifting-specific EF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)834-851
Number of pages18
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 15 2019


  • Executive dysfunction
  • Externalizing
  • Internalizing
  • P factor
  • Rumination
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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