The Structure of Avoidance Following Trauma : Development and Validation of the Posttraumatic Avoidance Scale (PAS)
Avoidance is a key maintenance factor in traumatic reactions but currently no satisfactory measures of it exist. Here we develop and validate a multi-dimensional measure of trauma-related avoidance across two samples. In sample 1 485 emergency service personnel completed a 44-item self-report measure of avoidance in relation to an identified occupational trauma. Principal components analysis provided evidence for a distinction between controlled and automatic avoidance. On the basis of these results a 20-item measure, the Posttraumatic Avoidance Scale (PAS), was constructed. The predictive validity of the PAS was established in a longitudinal study. Sample 2 illustrated the transdiagnostic potential of the PAS in an eating disordered population. This measure of trauma-related avoidance is the first to intentionally assess PTSD avoidance symptoms in this bi-dimensional manner.