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PLoS One. 2016 Oct 10;11(10):e0161645. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0161645. eCollection 2016.

Psychometric Validation of the English and French Versions of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5).

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School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Department of Psychiatry, CHRU de Tours, Université François Rabelais de Tours, Inserm U930, France.
Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


The purpose of this study is to assess the psychometric properties of a French version of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5), a self-report measure of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, and to further validate the existing English version of the measure. Undergraduate students (n = 838 English, n = 262 French) completed the PCL-5 as well as other self-report symptom measures of PTSD and depression online. Both the English and French versions PCL-5 total scores demonstrated excellent internal consistency (English: α = .95; French: α = .94), and strong convergent and divergent validity. Strong internal consistency was also observed for each of the four subscales for each version (α's > .79). Test-retest reliability for the French version of the measure was also very good (r = .89). Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the four-factor DSM-5 model was not a good fit of the data. The seven-factor hybrid model best fit the data in each sample, but was only marginally superior to the six-factor anhedonia model. The French version of the PCL-5 demonstrated the same psychometric qualities as both the English version of the same measure and previous versions of the PCL. Thus clinicians serving French-speaking clients now have access to this highly used screening instrument. With regards to the structural validity of the PCL-5 and of the new PTSD diagnostic structure of the DSM-5, additional research is warranted. Replication of our results in clinical samples is much needed.

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