Variations in Criterion A and PTSD rates in a community sample of women

J Anxiety Disord. 2011 Mar;25(2):176-84. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2010.08.018. Epub 2010 Sep 15.


We assessed PTSD prevalence and symptoms as a function of whether participants' worst lifetime event met Criterion A1 for PTSD (DSM-IV-TR; APA, 2000) and whether the event was directly or indirectly experienced in a community sample of adult women (N=884). Exposure to both non-Criterion A1 and Criterion A1 events was systematically assessed. PTSD was assessed with regard to participants' self-nominated worst event using the PTSD module of the SCID-I/NP (First, Spitzer, Gibbon, & Williams, 1997). There were no differences in PTSD prevalence rates between Criterion A1 and non-A1 events; however, directly experienced worst events were significantly more likely to meet PTSD criteria than were indirectly experienced worst events. Non-Criterion A1 and directly experienced worst events were associated with significantly more PTSD symptoms than were Criterion A1 or indirectly experienced events, respectively. Criterion A2 (experiencing fear, helplessness, or horror) had little effect on PTSD rates.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events*
  • Mental Health
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires