Clusters of trauma types as measured by the Life Events Checklist for DSM–5.

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Experiences of potentially traumatic events (PTE), commonly assessed with the Life Events Checklist for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (LEC-5), can be varied in both pattern and type. An understanding of LEC-assessed PTE type clusters and their relation to psychopathology can enhance research feasibility (e.g., address low base rates for certain PTE types), research communication/comparisons via the use of common terminology, and nuanced trauma assessments/treatments. To this point, the current study examined (a) clusters of PTE types assessed by the LEC-5 and (b) differential relations of these PTE type clusters to mental health correlates (i.e., posttraumatic stress disorder severity, depression severity, emotion dysregulation, reckless and self-destructive behaviors). A trauma-exposed community sample of 408 participants was recruited via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (Mage = 35.90 years; 56.50% female). Network analyses indicated three PTE type clusters: Accidental/Injury Traumas (LEC-5 Items 1, 2, 3, 4, 12), Victimization Traumas (LEC-5 Items 6, 8, 9), and Predominant Death Threat Traumas (LEC-5 Items 5, 7, 10, 11, 13–16). Multiple regression analyses indicated that the Victimization Trauma Cluster significantly predicted posttraumatic stress disorder severity (β = .23, p < .001), depression severity (β = .20, p = .001), and negative emotion dysregulation (β = .22, p < .001); and the Predominant Death Threat Trauma Cluster significantly predicted engagement in reckless and self-destructive behaviors (β = .31, p < .001) and positive emotion dysregulation (β = .26, p < .001), accounting for the influence of other PTE type clusters. Results support three PTE type classifications assessed by the LEC-5, with important clinical and research implications. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

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International Journal of Stress Management