Assessing a five factor model of PTSD: Is dysphoric arousal a unique PTSD construct showing differential relationships with anxiety and depression?
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Posttraumatic stress disorder's (PTSD) latent structure has been widely debated. To date, two four-factor models (Numbing and Dysphoria) have received the majority of factor analytic support. Recently, Elhai et al. (2011) proposed and supported a revised (five-factor) Dysphoric Arousal model. Data were gathered from two separate samples; War veterans and Primary Care medical patients. The three models were compared and the resultant factors of the Dysphoric Arousal model were validated against external constructs of depression and anxiety. The Dysphoric Arousal model provided significantly better fit than the Numbing and Dysphoria models across both samples. When differentiating between factors, the current results support the idea that Dysphoric Arousal can be differentiated from Anxious Arousal but not from Emotional Numbing when correlated with depression. In conclusion, the Dysphoria model may be a more parsimonious representation of PTSD's latent structure in these trauma populations despite superior fit of the Dysphoric Arousal model.
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