Current Measures of PTSD for Children and Adolescents

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Abstract

Objective

To review measures of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and posttraumatic stress symptoms (PSS) for children and adolescents.

Methods

We reviewed broad-based child mental health journals within the disciplines of pediatrics, child psychology, and trauma, from 1995 to 2004, to identify measures of PTSD and PSS for children and adolescents. The review includes a summary of the psychometric properties and associated features of the measures and the clinical domains and types of studies using each measure.

Results

Seven measures of PTSD and PSS were identified, including clinician-administered interviews and self-report questionnaires. Sixty-five articles containing the measures were categorized into eight trauma domains. We found there is little consensus over measures used within each trauma domain.

Conclusions

Few measures of PTSD and PSS have been designed specifically for young people. Further directions for measurement of PTSD in this age group are discussed to prevent under-diagnosis and under-treatment for youth.

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