Examination of the heterogeneity in PTSD and impulsivity facets: A latent profile analysis

Ateka A. Contractor*, Stephanie Caldas, Nicole H. Weiss, Cherie Armour

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


The experience of traumatizing events and resulting posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomology relates to a range of impulsive behaviors. While both PTSD and impulsivity are heterogeneous and multidimensional constructs, no research has used person-centered approaches to examine subgroups of individuals based on these response endorsements. Hence, our study examined PTSD-impulsivity typologies and their construct validity in two samples: university students (n = 412) and community participants recruited through Amazon's MTurk (n = 346). Measures included the Stressful Life Events Screening Questionnaire (PTEs), PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PTSD severity), UPPS Impulsive Behavior Scale (negative urgency, lack of premeditation, lack of perseverance, sensation seeking). Dimensions of Anger Reaction Scale (anger), and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (depression). For both samples, results of latent profile analyses indicated a best-fitting 3-class solution: High, Moderate, and Low PTSD-Negative Urgency. Negative urgency was the most distinguishing impulsivity facet. Anger and depression severity significantly predicted membership in the more severe symptomatology classes. Thus, individuals can be meaningfully categorized into three subgroups based on PTSD and impulsivity item endorsements. We provide some preliminary evidence for a negative urgency subtype of PTSD characterized by greater depression and anger regulation difficulties; and underscore addressing emotional regulation skills for these subgroup members.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Early online date20 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Impulsivity
  • Latent profile analysis
  • PTSD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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