Defeat and entrapment have been shown to be of central relevance to the development of different disorders. However, it remains unclear whether they represent two distinct constructs or one overall latent variable. One reason for the unclarity is that traditional factor analytic techniques have trouble estimating the right number of clusters in highly correlated data. In this study, we applied a novel approach based on network analysis that can deal with correlated data to establish whether defeat and entrapment are best thought of as one or multiple constructs.
Explanatory graph analysis was used to estimate the number of dimensions within the 32 items that make up the defeat and entrapment scales in two samples: an online community sample of 480 participants, and a clinical sample of 147 inpatients admitted to a psychiatric hospital after a suicidal attempt or severe suicidal crisis. Confirmatory Factor analysis (CFA) was used to test whether the proposed structure fits the data.
In both samples, bootstrapped exploratory graph analysis suggested that the defeat and entrapment items belonged to different dimensions. Within the entrapment items, two separate dimensions were detected, labelled internal and external entrapment. Defeat appeared to be multifaceted only in the online sample. When comparing the CFA outcomes of the one, two, three and four factor models, the one factor model was preferred.
Defeat and entrapment can be viewed as distinct, yet, highly associated constructs. Thus, although replication is needed, results are in line with theories differentiating between these two constructs.
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- Defeat and entrapment: more than meets the eye? Applying network analysis to estimate dimensions of highly correlated constructs
Derek de Beurs
- BioMed Central
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