Factor structure of the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5: Relationships among symptom clusters, anger, and impulsivity

Cherie Armour*, Ateka Contractor, Tracie Shea, Jon D. Elhai, Kand Robert H. Pietrzak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Scarce data are available regarding the dimensional structure of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and how factors relate to external constructs. We evaluated six competing models of DSM-5 PTSD symptoms, including Anhedonia, Externalizing Behaviors, and Hybrid models, using confirmatory factor analyses in a sample of 412 trauma-exposed college students. We then examined whether PTSD symptom clusters were differentially related to measures of anger and impulsivity using Wald chi-square tests. The seven-factor Hybrid model was deemed optimal compared with the alternatives. All symptom clusters were associated with anger; the strongest association was between externalizing behaviors and anger (r = 0.54). All symptom clusters, except reexperiencing and avoidance, were associated with impulsivity, with the strongest association between externalizing behaviors and impulsivity (r = 0.49). A seven-factor Hybrid model provides superior fit to DSM-5 PTSD symptomdata,with the externalizing behaviors factor beingmost strongly related to anger and impulsivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-115
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2016


  • Anger
  • Confirmatory factor analysis
  • DSM-5
  • Impulsivity
  • PCL-5
  • PTSD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Factor structure of the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5: Relationships among symptom clusters, anger, and impulsivity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this