Posttraumatic Stress Reactions in Children and Adolescents: Factor Structure and Gender Invariance in the Dysphoria and Numbing Model

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the four-factor structure of posttraumatic stress reactions as depicted by the dysphoria (Simms, Watson, & Doebbelling, 2002) and numbing (King, Leskin, King, & Weathers, 1998) models and to examine possible gender differences in these models. A total of 390 children and adolescents (61% girls) aged 10–18 participated in the study. The youths had experienced one or more potentially traumatic events. Confirmatory factor analyses supported both the dysphoria and the numbing models, with minimal differences in fit within the girl and boy samples. There was evidence of measurement invariance for the numbing model, but not for the dysphoria model, in terms of scalar invariance. Girls showed significantly higher symptom levels than did boys for all factors. Implications of the results are discussed.

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