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Validity of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire in an adolescent psychiatric population.

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Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA.



To present initial findings on the validity of a recently developed maltreatment inventory, the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), in a sample of adolescent psychiatric patients.


Three hundred ninety-eight male and female adolescents (aged 12 to 17 years) admitted to the inpatient service of a private psychiatric hospital were given the CTQ as part of a larger test battery. Structured interviews were also conducted with the primary therapists of 190 of the patients to obtain ratings of abuse and neglect based on all available data, including clinical interviews with patients and their relatives and information from referring clinicians and agencies.


Principal-components analysis of the CTQ items yielded five rotated factors-emotional abuse, emotional neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and physical neglect-closely replicating the factor structure in an earlier study of adult patients. The internal consistency of the CTQ factors was extremely high both in the entire sample and in every subgroup examined. When CTQ factor scores were compared with therapists' ratings in a series of logistic regression analyses, relationships between the two sets of variables were highly specific, supporting the convergent and discriminant validity of the CTQ. Finally, when therapists' ratings were used as the validity criterion, the CTQ exhibited good sensitivity for all forms of maltreatment, and satisfactory or better levels of specificity.


These initial findings suggest that the CTQ is a sensitive and valid screening questionnaire for childhood trauma in an adolescent psychiatric inpatient setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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