Research on symptom endorsement patterns in those with trauma exposure frequently emphasizes presentation subtypes. Most frequently, internalizing, externalizing, and dissociative symptom clusters are identified; however, evidence for the emergence of disorder subtypes is not always consistent. To expand its clinical utility, this study examines symptom endorsement subtypes on the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) within a sample of trauma exposed individuals. Specifically, a series of latent profile analyses (LPA) were conducted on 376 U.S. military veterans evaluated while seeking outpatient treatment for PTSD within the Veteran Affairs system. Results from these analyses identify two primary findings. First, the observed class models support the notion that the PAI clinical scales are a useful aid in detecting broad patterns of distress common to those with trauma exposure (e.g., depression, suicidal thoughts, avoidant behaviors, etc.). Second, the PAI did not demonstrate distinct response styles consistent with the theoretically and empirically supported diagnostic subtypes. Implications for research with, and the clinical use of, the PAI in veterans and those with trauma-associated symptoms are discussed.
- Personality Assessment Inventory
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
- Psychological assessment