Factor Structure of the PTSD Checklist for : Relationships Among Symptom Clusters, Anger, and ImpulsivityDSM-5: Relationships Among Symptom Clusters, Anger, and Impulsivity

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Abstract

Scarce data are available regarding the dimensional structure of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and how factors relate to external constructs. We evaluated six competing models of DSM-5 PTSD symptoms, including Anhedonia, Externalizing Behaviors, and Hybrid models, using confirmatory factor analyses in a sample of 412 trauma-exposed college students. We then examined whether PTSD symptom clusters were differentially related to measures of anger and impulsivity using Wald chi-square tests. The seven-factor Hybrid model was deemed optimal compared with the alternatives. All symptom clusters were associated with anger; the strongest association was between externalizing behaviors and anger (r = 0.54). All symptom clusters, except reexperiencing and avoidance, were associated with impulsivity, with the strongest association between externalizing behaviors and impulsivity (r = 0.49). A seven-factor Hybrid model provides superior fit to DSM-5 PTSD symptom data, with the externalizing behaviors factor being most strongly related to anger and impulsivity.

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