Childhood Trauma Questionnaire

Background:

The issue of understanding the world is particularly relevant to our confronting upsetting or traumatic experiences. If we get a parking ticket, we may briefly ponder our sin, put it into perspective, pay the fine, and ultimately forget it. Such a minor trauma may cause slight anxiety and cause us to think briefly about the nature of cars, parking slots, and the role of police in our society. Other traumas are not dispensed with so easily. If we were molested as children, fired from our jobs, or mugged, far more physiological and cognitive activity would ensue. A fundamental psychological question concerns how we come to find meaning in traumatic experiences. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire is a brief survey of six early traumatic experiences (death, divorce, violence, sexual abuse, illness or other), and assesses individual’s understanding of their childhood trauma.

Psychometrics:

For psychometric information see Pennebaker, J.W. & Susman, J.R. (1988). Disclosure of traumas and psychosomatic processes. Social Science and Medicine, 26, 327-332.

Author of Tool:

Pennebaker, J.W. & Susman, J.R.

Key references:

Pennebaker, J.W. & Susman, J.R. (1988). Disclosure of traumas and psychosomatic processes. Social Science and Medicine, 26, 327-332.

Primary use / Purpose:

Aims to assess meaning taken from traumatic experiences in childhood

Childhood Traumatic Events Scale

For the following questions, answer each item that is relevant. Be as honest as you can. Each question refers to any event that you may have experienced prior to the age of 17.

  1. Prior to the age of 17, did you experience a death of a very close friend or family

member?                 If yes, how old were you?                   

If yes, how traumatic was this? (using a 7-point scale, where 1 = not at all traumatic, 4 = somewhat traumatic, 7 = extremely traumatic)                 

If yes, how much did you confide in others about this traumatic experience at the time? (1 = not at all, 7 = a great deal)                 

  1. Prior to the age of 17, was there a major upheaval between your parents (such as divorce, separation)? If yes, how old were you?                

If yes, how traumatic was this? (where 7 = extremely traumatic)              If yes, how much did you confide in others? (7 = a great deal)                 

  1. Prior to the age of 17, did you have a traumatic sexual experience (raped, molested,

etc.)?              If yes, how old were you?               

If yes, how traumatic was this? (7 = extremely traumatic)              

If yes, how much did you confide in others? (7 = a great deal)              

  1. Prior to the age of 17, were you the victim of violence (child abuse, mugged or assaulted --

other than sexual)?             If yes, how old were you?              

If yes, how traumatic was this? (7 = extremely traumatic)              

If yes, how much did you confide in others? (7 = a great deal)              

  1. Prior to the age of 17, were you extremely ill or injured?  you?            

If yes, how old were

If yes, how traumatic was this? (7 = extremely traumatic)              

If yes, how much did you confide in others? (7 = a great deal)              

  1. Prior to the age of 17, did you experience any other major upheaval that you think may have shaped your life or personality significantly? If yes, how old were you?              

If yes, what was the event?                                                                                If yes, how traumatic was this? (7 = extremely traumatic)                 

If yes, how much did you confide in others? (7 = a great deal)              

Recent Traumatic Events Scale

For the following questions, again answer each item that is relevant and again be as honest as you can. Each question refers to any event that you may have experienced within the last 3 years.

  1. Within the last 3 years, did you experience a death of a very close friend or family member?

If yes, how traumatic was this? (1 = not at all traumatic, 7 = extremely traumatic)              

If yes, how much did you confide in others about the experience at the time? (1 = not at all, 7 = a great deal)              

  1. Within the last 3 years, was there a major upheaval between you and your spouse (such as divorce, separation)?

If yes, how traumatic was this?           

If yes, how much did you confide in others?          

  1. Within the last 3 years, did you have a traumatic sexual experience (raped, molested, )?

If yes, how traumatic was this?         

If yes, how much did you confide in others?          

  1. Within the last 3 years, were you the victim of violence (other than sexual)?  If yes, how traumatic was this?             

If yes, how much did you confide in others?            

  1. Within the last 3 years, were you extremely ill or injured?  If yes, how traumatic was this?             

If yes, how much did you confide in others?          

  1. Within the last 3 years, has there been a major change in the kind of work you do (e.g., a new job, promotion, demotion, lateral transfer)?

If yes, how traumatic was this?         

If yes, how much did you confide in others?          

  1. Within the last 3 years, did you experience any other major upheaval that you think may have shaped your life or personality significantly?

If yes, what was the event?                                                                                If yes, how traumatic was this?             

If yes, how much did you confide in others?