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

Ateka A. Contractor, Talya Greene, Megan Dolan, Nicole H. Weiss, Cherie Armour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102157
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
StatePublished - Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research described here was supported, in part, by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse ( K23DA039327 ) awarded to the fourth co-author. NIDA had no role in the study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of the data, writing the manuscript, or the decision to submit the paper for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Network analyses
  • PTSD
  • Positive memories
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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