Confirmatory factor analyses of posttraumatic stress symptoms in deployed and nondeployed veterans of the Gulf war

  • Simms L
  • Watson D
  • Doebbeling B
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Confirmatory factor analysis was used to compare 6 models of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, ranging from 1 to 4 factors, in a sample of 3,695 deployed Gulf War veterans (N = 1,896) and nondeployed controls (N = 1,799). The 4 correlated factors-intrusions, avoidance, hyperarousal, and dysphoria-provided the best fit. The dysphoria factor combined traditional markers of numbing and hyperarousal. Model superiority was cross-validated in multiple subsamples, including a subset of deployed participants who were exposed to traumatic combat stressors. Moreover, convergent and discriminant validity correlations suggested that intrusions may be relatively specific to PTSD, whereas dysphoria may represent a nonspecific component of many disorders. Results are discussed in the context of hierarchical models of anxiety and depression.

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  • Leonard J. Simms

  • David Watson

  • Bradley N. Doebbeling

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