Factor Structure of the PTSD Checklist in a Sample of OEF/OIF Veterans Presenting to Primary Care: Specific and Nonspecific Aspects of Dysphoria
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- Williams, J.L., Monahan, C.J. & McDevitt-Murphy, M.E. J Psychopathol Behav Assess (2011) 33: 514. doi:10.1007/s10862-011-9248-3
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Although DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) include three primary symptom clusters, recent evidence from confirmatory factor analyses suggest that the latent structure of PTSD is better represented by four factors, which will likely be reflected in the upcoming DSM-5. Given this likely transition from three to four clusters, the present study sought to examine specific and non-specific aspects of dysphoria in the factor structure of PTSD symptoms in a sample of OEF/OIF combat veterans presenting to a Veterans Affairs primary care clinic. PTSD symptoms were assessed using the PCL-M (Weathers et al. 1993). Results from confirmatory factor analyses suggested that a dysphoria factor involving a number of non-specific distress symptoms may be an important part of the PTSD symptom profile. After controlling for variance due to general psychological distress, we further found that factor loadings on the dysphoria factor were attenuated but continued to significantly load onto the factor, suggesting that dysphoria may be a specific part of the PTSD symptom constellation.