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Cross-Cultural Consortium on Irritability (C3I)

Irritability is one of the most common reasons for youth being brought for psychological assessment and care and is associated with significant impairment at home, in school, and with peers. It is likely that cultural factors are amongst the significant environmental inputs that impact on the presentation of irritability, but this topic has received little systematic investigation. Cross-cultural research is needed to reach the largest possible number of children world-wide experiencing irritability, thereby maximizing good outcomes for as many young people as possible. Such research will also help us to better understand causes and mechanisms of irritability. Thus, such investigation could facilitate the recognition and assessment of irritability, and eventually, the development of effective, culturally sensitive interventions. The goal of the Cross-Cultural Consortium on Irritability (C3I) is to provide a collaborative structure for researchers interested in cross-cultural aspects of irritability.

Working Groups

Sub Working Group - Data Pooling

This working group is charged with (1) identifying existing datasets on irritability and contacting PIs about data sharing; (2) pooling existing datasets; (3) facilitating data sharing process; and (4) harmonizing and managing the pooled datasets.

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Sub Working Group - Harmonization

This working group is charged with: (1) discussing issues related to harmonization of different measures and instruments used to assess irritability; and (2) implementing methods and procedures for data harmonization using tools such as natural language processing and factor analysis.

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Sub Working Group - Conceptual Model

The purpose of the proposed working group is to facilitate progress in mapping irritability-related phenomena into broader frameworks of psychopathology. (Note: “Broader frameworks” here refers to DSM but could also include ICD, HITOP, RDOC, etc.) Much has been written about how irritability is transdiagnostic, linked to a wide variety of disorders and problems (e.g., internalizing, externalizing, functional). This may say something about the ubiquity and clinical significance of irritability. More fundamentally, however, these cross-cutting properties suggest that irritability is nonspecific, heterogeneous, and poorly understood across multiple levels of analysis. Despite recent advances in irritability research, this mismatch between irritability and broader frameworks persists. Research on any topic must relate to existing evidence, theory, and frameworks to facilitate scientific progress and public health impact. Tackling this challenge with irritability could have important downstream implications for assessment and treatment.

Accordingly, this working group would engage in empirically and theoretically driven efforts to understand—and ultimately contribute to improvements in—how irritability relates to or “fits” within broader frameworks. Anticipated workgroup activities include articulating the goals and scope of these efforts; engaging with DSM, HITOP, and other framework communities on classification of irritability; leveraging existing datasets to answer integrative questions (e.g., phasic vs. tonic irritability in relation to internalizing vs. externalizing dimensions); and developing manuscripts and grant proposals in line with this mission. Other ideas, questions, and feedback are welcome.

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Sub Working Group - Community Engagement

The goal of this working group is charged with: (1) discussing issues of diversity and representation as they apply in cross-cultural research on irritability; (2) facilitating implementation of Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) on irritability by involving children, adolescents, and families affected by irritability in study design, implementation, and dissemination; (3) ensuring that research measures and methods are culturally sensitive; (4) including constructs and factors that are traditionally understudied yet relevant for populations and groups that are underrepresented in research; (5) devising and implementing guidelines for increasing and maintaining diverse, equitable, and inclusive member participation within the consortium.

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