The recent release of the DSM-5 comes with the division of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms across four symptom clusters (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). This division is based on the support garnered by two four-factor models; Emotional Numbing (King et al., 1998) and Dysphoria (Simms et al., 2002) and a five-factor model; Dysphoric Arousal (Elhai et al., 2011). Much debate centered on the validity of the Dysphoria factor as a non-specific factor of PTSD within the Dysphoria model. In line with this, we assessed relations between the four factors of the Dysphoria model (Simms et al., 2002) and positive (PA) and negative affect (NA) in natural disaster victims (N = 200) from Leh, India, using the PTSD checklist (PCL-S) and Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS short form). Confirmatory factor analysis was implemented to assess the best-fitting model for both the PCL (PTSD) and the PANAS (affect). Two optimal models (the Dysphoria model and a two-factor model for affect) were subsequently used to assess latent variable associations across constructs. It was hypothesized that differential associations between latent factors would be evident with the Dysphoria factor being highly correlated with negative affect compared to alternative PTSD factors. Significant correlations were found between factors of the Dysphoria model and NA (0.52–0.65, p < 0.001). Comparing the association of pairs of PTSD factors with NA and PA, Wald’s tests revealed that no single PTSD factor was more related to NA than the other. Avoidance and Hyperarousal factors were correlated with PA. Results are discussed in line with literature questioning Dysphoria factor’s unique association with general distress.
Charak, R., Armour, C., Elklit, A., Koot, H. M., Elhai, J. D. (2014). Assessing the Latent Factor Association between the Dysphoria model of PTSD and Positive and Negative Affect in Trauma Victims from India. Psychological Injury & Law, 7, 122-130. Doi: 10.1007/s12207-014-9192-0