In psychopathology, the p-factor suggests the presence of a common factor driving various mental health disorders. A recent Translational Psychiatry study aimed to discover p-factor-related plasma proteins in young adults and presented novel insights into the mental health status in this sub-population.
Mental health issues are often undiagnosed and untreated despite their significant economic cost. There is an urgent need to identify patients early, deploy preventive measures, as well as improve treatments and diagnostic procedures. Mental health disorders have common underlying factors, which could be psychological, social, and biological.
The “general psychopathology factor” or latent p-factor suggests the presence of a common factor driving various mental health disorders. The p-factor is similar to the g-factor in intelligence, which relates to an individual’s tendency to perform well in different cognitive tests if he/she does well in one test. Individuals who report a high p-factor often find it difficult to control or regulate when dealing with the environment, others, or themselves.