With the publication of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 11th edition (ICD-11) due for release in 2018, a number of studies have assessed the factorial validity of the proposed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex (CPTSD) diagnostic criteria and whether the disorders are correlated but distinct constructs. As the specific nature of CPTSD symptoms has yet to be firmly established, this study aimed to examine the dimension of affect dysregulation as two separate constructs representing hyper-activation and hypo-activation. Seven alternative models were estimated within a confirmatory factor analytic framework using the International Trauma Questionnaire (ITQ). Data were analysed from a young adult sample from northern Uganda (n = 314), of which 51% were female and aged 18–25 years. Forty per cent of the participants were former child soldiers (n = 124) while the remainder were civilians (n = 190). The prevalence of CPTSD was 20.8% and PTSD was 13.1%. The results indicated that all models that estimated affective dysregulation as distinct but correlated constructs (i.e. hyper-activation and hypo-activation) provided satisfactory model fit, with statistical superiority for a seven-factor first-order correlated model. Furthermore, individuals who met the criteria for CPTSD reported higher levels of war experiences, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and somatic problems than those with PTSD only and no diagnosis. There was also a much larger proportion of former child soldiers that met the criteria for a CPTSD diagnosis. In conclusion, these results partly support the factorial validity of the ICD-11 proposals for PTSD and CPTSD in a non-Western culture exposed to mass violence. These findings highlight that more research is required across different cultural backgrounds before firm conclusions can be made regarding the factor structure of CPTSD using the ITQ.