Italian Validation of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire—Short Form on a College Group

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Abstract

The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire—Short Form (CTQ–SF) is the most widely used measure of childhood traumatic experiences for the retrospective assessment of adolescents and adults. It facilitates the detection of co-occurrence of traumas during childhood, in effect overcoming the lack of standardized tools for adult assessment. Objective: The current study aimed to validate the Italian Childhood Trauma Questionnaire on college students. On this scope, we compared several factor structures proposed in the literature by the original authors (Bernstein et al., 2003), as well as in cross-cultural applications. In addition, we investigated psychometric properties of the Italian CTQ–SF in terms of internal consistency reliability and convergent validity with posttraumatic stress disorder and general psychopathology. Method: A total of 446 undergraduate students (M = 23 years, SD = 2.87) participated in the study. Results: The confirmatory factor analyses indicated that the 5-factor solution represents the model that best fits Italian data of nonclinical samples. The unidimensionality of the scale was also not supported by present findings. Additionally, internal consistency reliability was good across the 5 scales and in line with the original version, as well as with previous applications. Correlation of the CTQ–SF with posttraumatic stress disorder and general psychopathology suggested that current posttraumatic and general symptoms were moderately significantly associated with the emotional forms of childhood trauma. Conclusion: Findings highlighted reliability, structure, and concurrent validity for the Italian CTQ–SF and thus supported the implementation of the Italian version of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire—Short Form in the assessment of traumatic experiences and the screening in nonclinical groups.

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