Posttraumatic stress disorder in DSM-5: Estimates of prevalence and symptom structure in a nonclinical sample of college students

Jon D. Elhai, Megan E. Miller, Julian D. Ford, Tracey L. Biehn, Patrick A. Palmieri, B. Christopher Frueh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus citations

Abstract

We empirically investigated recent proposed changes to the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis for DSM-5 using a non-clinical sample. A web survey was administered to 585 college students using the Stressful Life Events Screening Questionnaire to assess for trauma exposure but with additions for the proposed traumatic stressor changes in DSM-5 PTSD. For the 216 subjects endorsing previous trauma exposure and nominating a worst traumatic event, we administered the original PTSD Symptom Scale based on DSM-IV PTSD symptom criteria and an adapted version for DSM-5 symptoms, and the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale. While 67% of participants endorsed at least one traumatic event based on DSM-IV PTSD's trauma classification, 59% of participants would meet DSM-5 PTSD's proposed trauma classification. Estimates of current PTSD prevalence were .4-1.8% points higher for the DSM-5 (vs. the DSM-IV) diagnostic algorithm. The DSM-5 symptom set fit the data very well based on confirmatory factor analysis, and neither symptom set's factors were more correlated with depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-64
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Keywords

  • Confirmatory factor analysis
  • Depression
  • Diagnosis
  • DSM-5
  • Emotional trauma
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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