Since the initial inclusion of PTSD in the DSM nomenclature, PTSD symptomatology has been distributed across three symptom clusters. However, a wealth of empirical research has concluded that PTSD's latent structure is best represented by one of two four-factor models: Numbing or Dysphoria. Recently, a newly proposed five-factor Dysphoric Arousal model, which separates the DSM-IV's Arousal cluster into two factors of Anxious Arousal and Dysphoric Arousal, has gathered support across a variety of trauma samples. To date, the Dysphoric Arousal model has not been assessed using nationally representative epidemiological data. We employed confirmatory factor analysis to examine PTSD's latent structure in two independent population based surveys from American (NESARC) and Australia (NSWHWB). We specified and estimated the Numbing model, the Dysphoria model, and the Dysphoric Arousal model in both samples. Results revealed that the Dysphoric Arousal model provided superior fit to the data compared to the alternative models. In conclusion, these findings suggest that items D1-D3 (sleeping difficulties; irritability; concentration difficulties) represent a separate, fifth factor within PTSD's latent structure using nationally representative epidemiological data in addition to single trauma specific samples.
Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 2013, Vol 27, Issue 1, p. 109-115
Adolescent Adult Aged Aged, 80 and over Anxiety/diagnosis/*epidemiology *Arousal Australia/epidemiology Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Female Health Surveys Humans Life Change Events Male Middle Aged Models, Psychological Psychometrics Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/classification/*diagnosis/*epidemiology United States/epidemiology