Prevalence of PTSD in a community sample of older adolescents

Steven P. Cuffe, Cheryl L. Addy, Carol Z. Garrison, Jennifer L. Waller, Kirby L. Jackson, Robert E. McKeown, Shailaja Chilappagari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine prevalence and correlates of trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and diagnosis in older adolescents aged 16 through 22 years. Method: The second cycle of a longitudinal epidemiological study in the Southeast included a semistructured interview assessing PTSD symptomatology administered to 490 adolescents. Results: Approximately 3% of female subjects and 1% of male subjects satisfied the DSM-IV criteria for PTSD. Females reported more traumatic events than males, and black subjects reported more events than white subjects. Being female (odds ratio = 12.32), experiencing rape or child sexual abuse (odds ratio = 49.37), and witnessing an accident or medical emergency (odds ratio = 85.02) were associated with increased risk of PTSD. Conclusions: While relatively few adolescents satisfy the criteria for PTSD, most subjects who experienced a traumatic event reported some PTSD symptoms. Specific types of traumatic events were associated with occurrence of PTSD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-154
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1998


  • Adolescent
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Traumatic events

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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