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J Anxiety Disord. 2010 Jun;24(5):520-7. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2010.03.009. Epub 2010 Mar 27.

Factor structure of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in the Australian general population.

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  • 1National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.


The tripartite model of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) articulated in DSM-IV has received limited empirical support. Over the past decade, a burgeoning literature on PTSD symptom structure has accumulated suggesting several alternative models. Elucidating the latent structure of PTSD has important clinical and theoretical implications. This paper presents the first confirmatory factor analytic investigation of PTSD symptoms in an epidemiologically based trauma-exposed sample from Australia. Data from a subsample of respondents from the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing (NSMHWB; n=2677) were submitted to confirmatory factor analysis and several alternative conceptual models were tested. Empirical support was found for an intercorrelated four-factor model reflecting re-experiencing, avoidance, dysphoria, and hyperarousal symptoms. Given that the DSM is currently under revision, research addressing structural validity concerns is especially timely. The present findings renew calls in the structural literature suggesting that the structure of PTSD should be revised in DSM-V.

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