Replicability and Generalizability of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Networks : A Cross-Cultural Multisite Study of PTSD Symptoms in Four Trauma Patient Samples


The growing literature conceptualizing mental disorders like posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as networks of interacting symptoms faces three key challenges. Prior studies predominantly used (a) small samples with low power for precise estimation, (b) nonclinical samples, and (c) single samples. This renders network structures in clinical data, and the extent to which networks replicate across data sets, unknown. To overcome these limitations, the present cross-cultural multisite study estimated regularized partial correlation networks of 16 PTSD symptoms across four data sets of traumatized patients receiving treatment for PTSD (total N = 2,782). Despite differences in culture, trauma type, and severity of the samples, considerable similarities emerged, with moderate to high correlations between symptom profiles (0.43–0.82), network structures (0.62–0.74), and centrality estimates (0.63–0.75). We discuss the importance of future replicability efforts to improve clinical psychological science and provide code, model output, and correlation matrices to make the results of this article fully reproducible.

Eiko I. Fried, Marloes B. Eidhof, Sabina Palic, Giulio Costantini, Hilde M. Huisman-van Dijk, Claudi L. H. Bockting, Iris Engelhard, Cherie Armour, Anni B. S. Nielsen, and Karen-Inge Karstoft | 2018
In: Clinical Psychological Science, ISSN 2167-7026 ; eISSN 2167-7034 | 6 | 3 | 335 - 351