Relations between PTSD and distress dimensions in an Indian child/adolescent sample following the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.J Abnorm Child Psychol 2014; 42(6):925-35JA
Posttraumatic stress disorder's (PTSD) four-factor dysphoria model has substantial empirical support (reviewed in Elhai & Palmieri, Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 25, 849-854, 2011; Yufik & Simms, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 119, 764-776, 2010). However, debatable is whether the model's dysphoria factor adequately captures all of PTSD's emotional distress (e.g., Marshall et al., Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 119(1), 126-135, 2010), which is relevant to understanding the assessment and psychopathology of PTSD. Thus, the present study assessed the factor-level relationship between PTSD and emotional distress in 818 children/adolescents attending school in the vicinity of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. The effective sample had a mean age of 12.85 years (SD = 1.33), with the majority being male (n = 435, 53.8 %). PTSD and emotional distress were measured by the UCLA PTSD Reaction Index (PTSD-RI) and Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18) respectively. Confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) assessed the PTSD and BSI-18 model fit; Wald tests assessed hypothesized PTSD-distress latent-level relations; and invariance testing examined PTSD-distress parameter differences using age, gender and direct exposure as moderators. There were no moderating effects for the PTSD-distress structural parameters. BSI-18's depression and somatization factors related more to PTSD's dysphoria than PTSD's avoidance factor. The results emphasize assessing for specificity and distress variance of PTSD factors on a continuum, rather than assuming dysphoria factor's complete accountability for PTSD's inherent distress. Additionally, PTSD's dysphoria factor related more to BSI-18's depression than BSI-18's anxiety/somatization factors; this may explain PTSD's comorbidity mechanism with depressive disorders.