This research was supported by National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Grant 93-IJ-CX-0023, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (Principal Investigator: Dean G. Kilpatrick) and National Institute of Mental Health RAPID Grant MH05220-01A2 (Principal Investigator: Ron Acierno). Views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of the grant funding agencies.
Regular Article/Highlights of the ISTSS 2008 Annual Meeting
Should PTSD Criterion A be retained?†
Article first published online: 9 SEP 2009
Copyright © 2009 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Journal of Traumatic Stress
Special Issue: Highlights of the ISTSS 2008 Annual Meeting
Volume 22, Issue 5, pages 374–383, October 2009
How to Cite
Kilpatrick, D. G., Resnick, H. S. and Acierno, R. (2009), Should PTSD Criterion A be retained?. J. Traum. Stress, 22: 374–383. doi: 10.1002/jts.20436
- Issue published online: 19 OCT 2009
- Article first published online: 9 SEP 2009
Criterion A has been controversial since its inception, partially because it performs a key gate keeping function. Major criticisms of Criterion A of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) include that it has resulted in “criterion creep.” The authors tested the hypothesis that a nonrestrictive definition would substantially increase posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) prevalence by determining PTSD based on Criteria B, C, D, E, and F, without restricting Criterion A in large probability samples of U.S. adolescents and Florida adults. Few PTSD cases occurred in the absence of Criterion A1 events, providing little support for the criterion creep hypothesis. Specific recommendations are to retain Criterion A; permit additional events; consider expanding Criterion A2; consider that either Criterion A1 or A2 be met; and place greater emphasis on Criterion F.