Relation between PTSD symptom clusters and positive memory characteristics: A network perspective

Document Type


Date of Original Version



Positive memory characteristics relate to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) severity. We utilized a network approach to examine relations between PTSD clusters (intrusions, avoidance, negative alterations in cognitions and mood [NACM], alterations in arousal and reactivity [AAR]) and positive memory characteristics (count, accessibility, valence, vividness, coherence, time perspective, sensory details). We identified differential relations between PTSD clusters and positive memory characteristics, and central/bridging symptoms. Participants were an Amazon Mechanical Turk-recruited sample of 206 individuals (Mage = 35.36; 61.20% females). We estimated a regularized Gaussian Graphic Model comprising four nodes representing the PTSD clusters and six nodes representing positive memory characteristics. Regarding cross-community relations, AAR (highest node strength) was negatively associated with positive memory count, valence, coherence, and accessibility; avoidance was positively and negatively associated with positive memory vividness and count respectively. The NACM-AAR and intrusion-avoidance edges were significantly stronger than most edges. From the PTSD community, AAR and avoidance had the highest bridge strength and bridge expected influence respectively; from the positive memory community, coherence and vividness had the highest bridge strength and bridge expected influence respectively. Results indicate the potential pivotal role of AAR, avoidance, coherence, and vividness in the PTSD-positive memory relation, which renders them assessment/treatment targets pending further investigation.

Publication Title

Journal of Anxiety Disorders