The correspondence of daily and retrospective PTSD reports among female victims of sexual assault

Kristin Naragon-Gainey, Tracy L. Simpson, Sally A. Moore, Alethea A. Varra, Debra L. Kaysen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


Research addressing the association between daily and retrospective symptom reports suggests that retrospective reports are typically inflated. The present study examined the association between daily posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom reports over 1 month and a corresponding retrospective report (PTSD Checklist [PCL]; Weathers et al., 1993) for both total scores and symptom clusters. The authors hypothesized that greater PTSD symptom instability and greater depression would be associated with poorer agreement between daily and retrospective reports. Data were collected from 132 female college students who were sexually assaulted. Multilevel modeling indicated very strong agreement between mean daily and retrospective reports for total scores and symptom clusters, with pseudo R2 ranging from .55 to .77. Depression symptoms did not moderate this association, but daily retrospective agreement was lowest for the avoidance cluster, which was also the most unstable. Finally, retrospective recall for each symptom cluster showed acceptable specificity to the corresponding daily symptom clusters. Overall, these findings suggest that retrospective memories for global PTSD symptoms and symptom clusters, as assessed by the PCL, are consistent with daily reports over a 1 month period. Implications for clinical assessment methodology are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1047
Number of pages7
JournalPsychological Assessment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes

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