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J Anxiety Disord. 2008 Dec;22(8):1377-83. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2008.01.018. Epub 2008 Feb 7.

The factor structure of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder symptoms among bereaved individuals: a confirmatory factor analysis study.

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  • 1Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands.


Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is defined in DSM-IV as an anxiety disorder that encompasses symptom-clusters of reexperiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal. Several studies have examined the factor structure of PTSD symptoms. To our knowledge, no studies have yet examined the factor structure of loss-related PTSD symptoms in samples exclusively comprised of bereaved individuals. Such an examination is important because it can advance our understanding of the stability of the structure of PTSD symptoms across groups confronted with different aversive life-events and of processes underlying the occurrence of PTSD symptoms after loss. In this study, five alternative models of the factor structure of PTSD symptoms were examined in a sample of 347 mourners. Results showed that, in this group, PTSD symptoms are best conceptualized as forming four factors: reexperiencing, avoidance, dysphoria, and hyperarousal. Patterns of correlations with depression and complicated grief supported the validity of the model.

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