Construct validation of the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) concept
Thompson, William W., Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
Gottesman, Irving I., Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
Loyd, Brenda, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Turkheimer, Eric, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
Wegner, Toni, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
The goal of this study was to investigate the reliability and construct validity of the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) concept. The reliability of PTSD was tested with a series of factor analyses while the construct validity of PTSD was tested with a series of regression analyses. The results of the confirmatory factor analyses provided evidence to support the internal consistency of the PTSD concept. The number of factors varied with the type of instrument used to measure PTSD, but within and between batteries the factor correlations were quite high. The DSM-ill organization of PTSD criteria fit the data better than the DSM-ill-R organization of PTSD. In addition, the factor structure of the PTSD items was invariant across subjects who had been exposed to combat stress and subjects who had not been exposed to combat stress.
The regression analyses provided evidence for the construct validation of the PTSD concept. PTSD was associated with pre-military measures of cognitive abilities and psychological functioning. Military measures of combat exposure and herbicide exposure also predicted PTSD. Finally post-military measures of psychological functioning and social support predicted measures of PTSD after controlling for both pre-military and military predictors.
The Keane-PTSD-R scale developed from the MMPI differentiated between 1) subjects with current PTSD and subjects with PTSD in remission and 2) subjects with delayed-onset PTSD and non-delayed-onset PTSD. The results are discussed in terms of current theoretical models used to describe the etiology of PTSD.
Note: Abstract extracted from PDF file via OCR.
PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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