Latent Classes of Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms in Two Samples of Bereaved People

L.I.M. Lenferink, J. de Keijser, M.Y. van Denderen, P.A. Boelen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although the heterogeneity of posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptoms has been well-documented in various traumatized samples, no study has investigated the heterogeneity of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, PTS symptomatology in samples exclusively composed of bereaved people. We examined what classes could be distinguished based on the endorsement of self-rated Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, PTS symptoms in a sample of 509 bereaved people confronted with losses due to a variety of causes and a sample of 331 homicidally bereaved people. Associations between class membership and sociodemographic and loss-related variables were also examined. On the basis of latent class analyses, conducted in both samples separately, we identified three PTS classes: a No disturbance, Intermediate disturbance, and Pervasive disturbance class, characterized by low, moderate, and high probability of endorsement of PTS symptoms, respectively. In both samples, the largest class was characterized by participants who endorsed intermediate PTS symptom levels. As expected, being a woman, more closely related to the deceased person, more recently bereaved, and (in the sample of 509 bereaved people) confronted with unexpected loss were related to classes with more PTS disturbances. There is evidence that intermediate PTS levels are associated with negative outcomes. Because this seems to be a relative large group in the current study, it is useful to further our knowledge about variables underlying and maintaining subclinical PTS levels. (PsycInfo Database Record
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-410
JournalInternational Journal of Stress Management
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

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