Population: Ages 12 and up.
Score: Emotional Abuse, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Emotional and Physical Neglect, and Minimization–Denial of Abuse.
Time:. 5 minutes.
Author: David P. Bernstein, Laura Fink
Publisher: The Psychological Corporation
Description: The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire is a 28-item self-report retrospective inventory intending to measure childhood or adolescent abuse and neglect. It is straightforward and easy to use. The CTQ can be administered individually or to a group. The examinee responds to 28 simple questions on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from Never True to Very Often True. The central constructs underlying the questionnaire are emotional, physical neglect and abuse, and sexual abuse. Other traumatic events that may occur during childhood, such as the death of a parent or a major illness, are not assessed. The items are written at a sixth grade reading level and reading level and intellectual functioning should be assessed before administering the scale.
Scoring: The CTQ contains five subscales, three assessing abuse (Emotional, Physical, and Sexual) and two assessing neglect (Emotional and Physical). Each subscale has five items and there is a three-item Minimization-Denial subscale to check for extreme response bias, specifically attempts by respondents to minimize their childhood abuse experiences. A 5-point frequency of occurrence scale is utilized: (1) never true, (2) rarely true, (3) sometimes true, (4) often true, and (5) very often true. Each subscale score ranges from 5 (no history of abuse or neglect) to 25 (very extreme history of abuse and neglect).
Reliability: Internal consistency coefficients are offered for all of the subsamples with generally favorable patterns reported. The three largest subsamples, the Sexual Abuse (alphas of .93 to .95) and Emotional Neglect (alphas of .88 to .92) are the most reliable. Emotional Abuse (alphas of .84 to .89) and Physical Abuse (alphas of .81 to .86) have acceptable reliabilities. The internal consistency of Physical Neglect (alphas of .63 to .78) is marginal. Test-retest reliabilities with testing over an average 3.6-month period yielded stability coefficients near .80, suggesting good consistency of responses over time.
Norms: Norms were derived from six samples. Only three had more than 300 subjects: (a)
378 mostly Black, male inpatient substance abusers; (b) 398 adolescent
psychiatric inpatients; and (c) 1,225 all female, mostly White HMO
These three subsamples comprise 2,001 of the 2,201 individuals in the
group. The first two subsamples are from
Suggested use: The stated uses of the CTQ are (a) for rapid abuse-history taking for treatment planning, (b) to encourage disclosure of childhood abuse as part of clinical assessments, and (c) for use in epidemiological and correctional studies involving childhood abuse. As a screening tool to identify individuals with a childhood history of abuse and neglect, this device may have utility.