The Structure of Adjustment Disorder, PTSD and Complex PTSD, and their Association with Childhood Adversities, Stressors and Traumas

Maria Louison Vang, Mark Shevlin, Thanos Karatzias, Menachem Ben-Ezra, Philip Hyland

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Background: Adjustment disorder has been included alongside PTSD and CPTSD in ICD-11 in the category of trauma- and stressor-related disorders, reflecting a continuum of severity in stressor-related reactions (Stein, Rouillon & Maercker, ). Objective: The objective of the present study is to determine the latent structure and degree of distinctiveness between AD, PTSD and CPTSD, and to investigate their association to life-stressors and traumatic life-events across child- and adulthood. Method: Confirmatory factor analysis was used to test five alternative factor analytical models of AD, PTSD and CPTSD in a sample of 331 participants referred for psychotherapy at the National Health Service trauma centre, Edinburgh, Scotland. Participants reported symptoms of AD, PTSD and CPTSD as well as exposure to stressful life-events and traumatic life-events in child- and adulthood. Results: A correlated three second-order and eight first-order factor model reflecting AD, PTSD and CPTSD as distinct constructs best represented the latent structure of the data. Participants reported high rates of trauma and stressor endorsement across the life-span and 83.3% of those that met the criteria for AD also met the criteria for PTSD or CPTSD. There was evidence of specificity in the relationships between different types of trauma/stressor exposure and childhood trauma and the AD, PTSD and CPTSD latent variables. Conclusions: AD is conceptually distinct from but highly correlated with trauma-related disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2019
EventThe 16th ESTSS Conference, Trauma in Transition: Building Bridges - Rotterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 14 Jun 201916 Jun 2019


ConferenceThe 16th ESTSS Conference, Trauma in Transition: Building Bridges

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