Sarah Reiland

Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department or School


Committee Member

Dean Lauterbach, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ellen Koch, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Norman Gordon, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Lisa Lauterbach, Ph.D.


This study evaluated the current DSM-IV conceptualization of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It examined predictors (i.e., event, person, and cognitive characteristics) and the factor structure of PTSD symptoms for events that do and do not meet criterion A. Event, person, and cognitive variables included in this study explained 47% of the variance in PTSD symptoms for the criterion A group and 56% of the variance in PTSD symptoms for the noncriterion A group. In both groups, cognitive variables explained the majority of variance in PTSD symptom severity. Although predictors of PTSD symptoms varied for criterion A and non-qualifying events, the factor structure was similar, suggesting that trauma responses to nonqualifying events may look very similar to trauma responses to criterion A events. This study suggests that a reevaluation of the diagnostic criteria for PTSD is warranted.

Included in

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