A confirmatory factor analysis of the PTSD checklist 5 in veteran and college student samples


An important change in the conceptualization of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been the shift from a three-factor model used in the DSM-IV-TR to the current four-factor model used in DSM-5. Early research initially supported the three-factor model, but most recent data suggest a four-factor model provides the best fit. Still other research has examined evidence for a five-factor model that would include depression sequelae. By way of a confirmatory factor analysis, we demonstrate the reliability of DSM-5 PTSD criteria clustering in a sample of 124 OEF/OIF/OND Veterans treated at a VAMC (49% white, 89% men) and a sample of 737 college students (48% white, 78% women). All participants were trauma-exposed, and completed the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5. The current study shows both samples best support a five-factor model over two four factor models considered for the DSM-5, though none provided better than moderate fit. Implications of the current findings regarding the reliability of the new DSM-5 criteria of PTSD will be discussed.

Publication Title

Psychiatry Research