Factor structure of PTSD, and relation with gender in trauma survivors from India

Ruby Charak, Cherie Armour, Ask Elklit, Disket Angmo, Jon D. Elhai, Hans M. Koot

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Background: The factor structure of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been extensively studied in Western countries. Some studies have assessed its factor structure in Asia (China, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia), but few have directly assessed the factor structure of PTSD in an Indian adult sample. Furthermore, in a largely patriarchal society in India with strong gender roles, it becomes imperative to assess the association between the factors of PTSD and gender.Objective: The purpose of the present study was to assess the factor structure of PTSD in an Indian sample of trauma survivors based on prevailing models of PTSD defined in the DSM-IV-TR (APA, 2000), and to assess the relation between PTSD factors and gender.Method: The sample comprised of 313 participants (55.9% female) from Jammu and Kashmir, India, who had experienced a natural disaster (N=200) or displacement due to cross-border firing (N=113).Results: Three existing PTSD models—two four-factor models (Emotional Numbing and Dysphoria), and a five-factor model (Dysphoric Arousal)—were tested using Confirmatory Factor Analysis with addition of gender as a covariate. The three competing models had similar fit indices although the Dysphoric Arousal model fit significantly better than Emotional Numbing and Dysphoria models. Gender differences were found across the factors of Re-experiencing and Anxious arousal.Conclusions: Findings indicate that the Dysphoric Arousal model of PTSD was the best model; albeit the fit indices of all models were fairly similar. Compared to males, females scored higher on factors of Re-experiencing and Anxious arousal. Gender differences found across two factors of PTSD are discussed in light of the social milieu in India.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotraumatology
Issue number0
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2014


  • PTSD
  • factor structure
  • gender
  • Dysphoric Arousal model
  • natural disaster
  • displacement due to cross border conflict


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