Psychometric Properties of the Dimensions of Stressful Events Rating Scale

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Unlike other instruments designed to assess DSM-IV Criterion A for posttraumatic stress disorder, exposure to a high-magnitude stressor, the Dimensions of Stressful Events (DOSE) scale assesses not different types of stressors but the specific characteristics of high-magnitude stressor events that the literature indicates increase the likelihood of posttraumatic response to the stressful event(s). This study investigated the DOSE's psychometric properties in a sample of 1,032 children aged 2 to 18 years (mean = 8.5 ± 3.9) exposed to interpersonal violence who participated in a community-based intervention. Findings indicate that the DOSE shows promise as a valid and reliable measure of the traumatic potential associated with diverse stressful experiences. Clinically, it could also be used as an indirect screening measure of the potential for the development of acute or posttraumatic stress disorder. In addition, the DOSE may allow researchers to make comparisons of the impact of different high-magnitude stressors across studies.

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