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Behav Ther. 2006 Dec;37(4):364-80. Epub 2006 Jul 28.

Taxometric Investigation of PTSD: data from two nationally representative samples.

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  • 1Appalachian State University and Medical University of South Carolina, Boone, NC 28608, USA.


Current psychiatric nosology depicts posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a discrete diagnostic category. However, only one study has examined the latent structure of PTSD, and this study suggested that PTSD may be more accurately conceptualized as an extreme reaction to traumatic life events rather than a discrete clinical syndrome. To build on the existing literature base, the present research examined the latent structure of posttraumatic stress reactions by applying three taxometric procedures (MAXEIG, MAMBAC, and L-Mode) to data collected from large nationally representative samples of women (ns=2684 and 3033) and adolescents (n=3775). Results consistently provided evidence for a dimensional PTSD solution across samples and statistical procedures. These findings have important implications for the theory, assessment, and investigation of posttraumatic stress reactions.

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