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J Clin Child Psychol. 2001 Sep;30(3):376-84.

The child PTSD Symptom Scale: a preliminary examination of its psychometric properties.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


Reports on the development and preliminary validation of the Child PTSD Symptom Scale (CPSS) for children and adolescents. The CPSS is a new instrument that was developed to assess the severity of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in children exposed to trauma. The CPSS was administered to 75 school-age children approximately 2 years after the 1994 Northridge, California, earthquake. The psychometric properties of the CPSS show high internal consistency and test-retest reliability for both the total score and the three subscales. Convergent validity with the Child Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Reaction Index (CPTSD-RI) was established. As expected, the correlations of the CPSS with depression and anxiety measures were lower than those with the CPTSD-RI, providing some support for discriminant validity of the CPSS. These results suggest that the CPSS is a useful tool for the assessment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) severity and for the screening of PTSD diagnosis among traumatized children.

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