Do gender and directness of trauma exposure moderate PTSD's latent structure?

Sheila B. Frankfurt*, Cherie Armour, Ateka A. Contractor, Jon D. Elhai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The PTSD diagnosis and latent structure were substantially revised in the transition from DSM-IV to DSM-5. However, three alternative models (i.e., anhedonia model, externalizing behavior model, and hybrid model) of PTSD fit the DSM-5 symptom criteria better than the DSM-5 factor model. Thus, the psychometric performance of the DSM-5 and alternative models’ PTSD factor structure needs to be critically evaluated. The current study examined whether gender or trauma directness (i.e., direct or indirect trauma exposure) moderates the PTSD latent structure when using the DSM-5 or alternative models. Model performance was evaluated with measurement invariance testing procedures on a large undergraduate sample (n=455). Gender and trauma directness moderated the DSM-5 PTSD and externalizing behavior model and did not moderate the anhedonia and hybrid models' latent structure. Clinical implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-370
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2016


  • Directness of trauma
  • Factor structure
  • Gender
  • Measurement invariance
  • PCL-5
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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