Evidence for a unique PTSD construct represented by PTSD's D1-D3 symptoms

Jon D. Elhai, Tracey L. Biehn, Cherie Armour, Jessica J. Klopper, B. Christopher Frueh, Patrick A. Palmieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

257 Scopus citations


Two models of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have received the most empirical support in confirmatory factor analytic studies: King, Leskin, King, and Weathers' (1998) Emotional Numbing model of reexperiencing, avoidance, emotional numbing and hyperarousal; and Simms, Watson, and Doebbeling's (2002) Dysphoria model of reexperiencing, avoidance, dysphoria and hyperarousal. These models only differ in placement of three PTSD symptoms: sleep problems (D1), irritability (D2), and concentration problems (D3). In the present study, we recruited 252 women victims of domestic violence and tested whether there is empirical support to separate these three PTSD symptoms into a fifth factor, while retaining the Emotional Numbing and Dysphoria models' remaining four factors. Confirmatory factor analytic findings demonstrated that separating the three symptoms into a separate factor significantly enhanced model fit for the Emotional Numbing and Dysphoria models. These three symptoms may represent a unique latent construct. Implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-345
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Confirmatory factor analysis
  • Domestic violence
  • Emotional trauma
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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