Development and psychometric evaluation of child acute stress measures in Spanish and English

Nancy Kassam-Adams, Jeffrey I Gold, Zorash Montaño, Kristen L Kohser, Anai Cuadra, Cynthia Muñoz, F Daniel Armstrong
Journal of Traumatic Stress 2013, 26 (1): 19-27
Clinicians and researchers need tools for accurate early assessment of children's acute stress reactions and acute stress disorder (ASD). There is a particular need for independently validated Spanish-language measures. The current study reports on 2 measures of child acute stress (a self-report checklist and a semistructured interview), describing the development of the Spanish version of each measure and psychometric evaluation of both the Spanish and English versions. Children between the ages of 8 to 17 years who had experienced a recent traumatic event completed study measures in Spanish (n = 225) or in English (n = 254). Results provide support for reliability (internal consistency of the measures in both languages ranged from .83 to .89; cross-language reliability of the checklist was .93) and for convergent validity (with later PTSD symptoms, and with concurrent anxiety symptoms). Comparing checklist and interview results revealed a strong association between severity scores within the Spanish and English samples. Differences between the checklist and interview in evaluating the presence of ASD appear to be linked to different content coverage for dissociation symptoms. Future studies should further assess the impact of differing assessment modes, content coverage, and the use of these measures in children with diverse types of acute trauma exposure in English- and Spanish-speaking children.

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