Assessing the specificity of posttraumatic stress disorder's dysphoric items within the dysphoria model

Cherie Armour*, Mark Shevlin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


The factor structure of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) currently used by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), has received limited support. A four-factor dysphoria model is widely supported. However, the dysphoria factor of this model has been hailed as a nonspecific factor of PTSD. The present study investigated the specificity of the dysphoria factor within the dysphoria model by conducting a confirmatory factor analysis while statistically controlling for the variance attributable to depression. The sample consisted of 429 individuals who met the diagnostic criteria for PTSD in the National Comorbidity Survey. The results concluded that there was no significant attenuation in any of the PTSD items. This finding is pertinent given several proposals for the removal of dysphoric items from the diagnostic criteria set of PTSD in the upcoming DSM-5.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)907-914
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2013



  • dysphoria
  • major depression
  • National Comorbidity Survey
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder

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