Validation of a self-report measure of posttraumatic stress disorder in college-age women
Cross, Melissa Rose
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Although Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been an official diagnostic category since the emergence o f the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual o f Mental Disorders 3rd edition (DSM-III) in 1980, self-report measures to aid in the diagnosis of PTSD are still lacking for certain populations. Much research on PTSD and its diagnosis through self-report measures has focused exclusively on Vietnam or other combat veterans. More recently, research has begun to address the assessment o f PTSD in other, non-combat populations such as crime victims, survivors o f sexual and physical abuse, and survivors o f natural disasters. Although advances have been made in this area, little research exists on the assessment o f PTSD in non-clinical, college-age samples. The current study examined the sensitivity and specificity o f a self-report version o f the PTSDInterview. Seventy-six college-age women were administered the self-report version of the PTSD-Interview (the PTSD-Questionnaire) and were then interviewed later with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID). Cut points on the PTSDQuestionnaire for PTSD risk status were initially set based on data collected from 606 college-age females. Participants with a score of 60 or higher on the PTSD-Questionnaire were classified as high-risk. Participants with a score o f 40 or lower were classified as low-risk. Participants with a score o f 41 to 59 were classified as moderate-risk. It was hypothesized that the PTSD-Questionnaire has good reliability and adequate sensitivity and specificity when compared to other self-report measures o f PTSD. Results supported the hypothesis that the sensitivity and specificity o f the PTSD-Questionnaire were similar to that of other self-report measures of PTSD used with other populations, but only when participants reported the same traumatic event on both the PTSD-Questionnaire and during the SCID-IV interview.