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Psychol Trauma. 2019 Oct;11(7):760-766. doi: 10.1037/tra0000455. Epub 2019 Mar 25.

Longitudinal cross-lagged relationships between posttraumatic stress disorder and depression in adolescents following the Yancheng tornado in China.

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School of Psychology.



The aim of this study was to examine the comorbidity and longitudinal cross-lagged relationships between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression among Chinese adolescents after their experience of the Yancheng tornado.


A total of 154 adolescents from 2 local middle schools in Yancheng city participated in this longitudinal study. Participants completed the Child PTSD Symptom Scale and the Center Epidemiological Studies of Depression at 6 months (T1), 9 months (T2), and 12 months (T3) after the tornado, respectively.


Results include the following: (a) the prevalence of PTSD was 55.84% at T1, 50.00% at T2, and 47.40% at T3; the prevalence of depression was 56.49% at T1, 65.58% at T2, and 66.01% at T3; (b) the comorbidity between PTSD and depression was high, 46.75% at T1, 42.86% at T2, 43.51% at T3; (c) PTSD at T1 significantly predicted depression at T2 (β = 0.42, p < .001), and PTSD at T2 significantly predicted depression at T3 (β = 0.64, p < .001); however, depression cannot significantly predict PTSD at different cross-time points.


The results suggest that there is comorbidity between PTSD and depression and that PTSD positively influence the development of depression in adolescents during the early period of the tornado, whereas depression did not predict PTSD. The implications of the results for the psychological services provided to children and youth are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).


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