Validity of CBCL-derived PTSD and dissociation scales: further evidence in a sample of neglected children and adolescents

Tristan Milot, André Plamondon, Louise S Ethier, Jean-Pascal Lemelin, Diane St-Laurent, Michel Rousseau
Child Maltreatment 2013, 18 (2): 122-8
There is growing evidence that child neglect is an important risk factor for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and dissociation. Considering that the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) is a widely used measure, the possibility of using validated CBCL-derived trauma symptoms scales could be particularly useful to better understand how trauma symptoms develop among neglected children and adolescents. This study examined the factor structure of three CBCL-derived measures of PTSD and dissociation (namely, PTSD scale, Dissociation scale, and PTSD/Dissociation scale) in a sample of 239 neglected children and adolescents aged 6 to 18 years using the latest version of CBCL (CBCL 6-18). Evidence of convergent validity of these scales was also examined for participants aged 12 and under using two well-validated measures of PTSD and Dissociation: the Trauma Symptoms Checklist for Young Children and the Child Dissociation Checklist. Findings suggest that CBCL-derived measures of trauma symptoms, especially PTSD and Dissociations scales, may be of heuristic value in the study of trauma symptomatology in neglected samples. Factor structure and evidence of convergent validity were supported for these two scales. Results also provide further support to the well-established assumption that PTSD and dissociation are two related but different constructs.

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