Latent dimensions of posttraumatic stress disorder and their relations with alcohol use disorder

Tracey L. Biehn, Ateka A. Contractor, Jon D. Elhai, Marijo Tamburrino, Thomas H. Fine, Gregory Cohen, Edwin Shirley, Philip K. Chan, Israel Liberzon, Joseph R. Calabrese, Sandro Galea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between factors of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) in order to further our understanding of the substantial comorbidity between these two disorders. Methods: CFA was used to examine which factors of PTSD’s dysphoria model were most related to AUD in a military sample. Ohio National Guard soldiers with a history of overseas deployment participated in the survey (n = 1215). Participants completed the PTSD Checklist and a 12-item survey from the National Survey on Drug Use used to diagnosis AUD. Results: The results of the CFA indicated that a combined model of PTSD’s four factors and a single AUD factor fit the data very well. Correlations between PTSD’s factors and a latent AUD factor ranged from correlation coefficients of 0.258–0.285, with PTSD’s dysphoria factor demonstrating the strongest correlation. However, Wald tests of parameter constraints revealed that AUD was not more correlated with PTSD’s dysphoria than other PTSD factors. Conclusions: All four factors of PTSD’s dysphoria model demonstrate comparable correlations with AUD. The role of dysphoria to the construct of PTSD is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-429
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Confirmatory factor analysis
  • Cormorbidity
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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