Anhedonia, emotional numbing, and symptom overreporting in male veterans with PTSD

Todd B. Kashdan, Jon D. Elhai, B. Christopher Frueh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


We used measures of positive affect and emotional expression to distinguish and better understand veterans with PTSD with symptom overreporting presentation styles. Based on prior research, symptom overreporting was defined as scores greater than eight on the Fp (Infrequency-Psychopathology) scale of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2). Data were drawn from an archival dataset of 227 combat veteran outpatients. Results were consistent with theory and research on the distinction between negative and positive affect. Major findings indicated that (a) veterans endorsing greater anhedonia had a greater likelihood of being classified as a symptom overreporter (controlling for PTSD symptoms), and (b) compared to non-symptom overreporting veterans, overreporters showed greater congruency in their presentation of diminished positive affect and their expression across self- and clinician-ratings. Our data suggest that diminished positive emotions and their behavioral expression are uniquely associated with veterans' psychological experiences, providing insight into the nature of symptom overreporters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-735
Number of pages11
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Anhedonia
  • Emotional numbing
  • Positive emotions
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Anhedonia, emotional numbing, and symptom overreporting in male veterans with PTSD'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this