Child Indicators Research

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 2173–2187 | Cite as

Patterns of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Depression Among Adolescents Following an Earthquake: a Latent Profile Analysis

  • Rui Zhen
  • Xiao Zhou
  • Xinchun WuEmail author


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) had been found to be comorbid with depression in victims following trauma. However, few studies have used latent profile analysis (LPA) to examine the comorbidity of PTSD and depression in adolescents exposed to natural disasters. Here, we used LPA to examine the comorbidity of PTSD and depression in 2059 adolescents who completed self-reported questionnaires 1.5 years after the Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan Province, China. We found that the data were best fit by a four-class solution, including a depressive symptoms group (39.2%), a non-symptoms group (34.7%), a mild comorbidity symptoms group (20.7%), and a serious comorbidity symptoms group (5.4%). Compared with individuals in the non-symptoms group, those in the comorbidity symptoms groups were more likely to report lower levels of parental trust, a greater degree of parental communication, and greater alienation. Compared with individuals in the depressive symptoms group, those in the comorbidity symptoms groups were more likely to report parental alienation. These results indicate that PTSD and depression reflect independent posttraumatic responses rather than a single disorder structure. Further, parental attachment may be an important predictor for differentiating the distinct comorbid patterns of PTSD and depression.


PTSD Depression Parental attachment Latent profile analysis 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical Approval

All procedures in this study were approved by the Research Ethics Committee of Beijing Normal University.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants in this study.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Psychological ScienceHangzhou Normal UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Psychology and Behavioral SciencesZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  3. 3.Beijing Key Laboratory of Applied Experimental Psychology, Faculty of PsychologyBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

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