Evidence for a unique PTSD construct represented by PTSD's D1–D3 symptoms

Jon D. Elhai, Tracey L. Biehn, Cherie Armour, Jessica J. Klopper, B. Christopher Frueh, Patrick A. Palmieri

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    Two models of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have received the most empirical support in con-firmatory factor analytic studies: King, Leskin, King, and Weathers’ (1998) Emotional Numbing model ofreexperiencing, avoidance, emotional numbing and hyperarousal; and Simms, Watson, and Doebbeling’s(2002) Dysphoria model of reexperiencing, avoidance, dysphoria and hyperarousal. These models onlydiffer in placement of three PTSD symptoms: sleep problems (D1), irritability (D2), and concentrationproblems (D3). In the present study, we recruited 252 women victims of domestic violence and testedwhether there is empirical support to separate these three PTSD symptoms into a fifth factor, while retainingthe Emotional Numbing and Dysphoria models’ remaining four factors. Confirmatory factor analyticfindings demonstrated that separating the three symptoms into a separate factor significantly enhancedmodel fit for the Emotional Numbing and Dysphoria models. These three symptoms may represent aunique latent construct. Implications are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)340-345
    JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2011


    • Posttraumatic stress disorder
    • Confirmatory factor analysis
    • Emotional trauma
    • Domestic violence


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