The child PTSD Symptom Scale: a preliminary examination of its psychometric properties

J Clin Child Psychol. 2001 Sep;30(3):376-84. doi: 10.1207/S15374424JCCP3003_9.


Reports on the development and preliminary validation of the Child PTSD Symptom Scale (CPSS) for children and adolescents. The CPSS is a new instrument that was developed to assess the severity of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in children exposed to trauma. The CPSS was administered to 75 school-age children approximately 2 years after the 1994 Northridge, California, earthquake. The psychometric properties of the CPSS show high internal consistency and test-retest reliability for both the total score and the three subscales. Convergent validity with the Child Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Reaction Index (CPTSD-RI) was established. As expected, the correlations of the CPSS with depression and anxiety measures were lower than those with the CPTSD-RI, providing some support for discriminant validity of the CPSS. These results suggest that the CPSS is a useful tool for the assessment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) severity and for the screening of PTSD diagnosis among traumatized children.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*