Development and Validation of the Child Post-Traumatic Cognitions Inventory (CPTCI)

J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2009 Apr;50(4):432-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2008.01995.x.

Abstract

Background: Negative trauma-related cognitions have been found to be a significant factor in the maintenance of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults. Initial studies of such appraisals in trauma-exposed children and adolescents suggest that this is an important line of research in youth, yet empirically validated measures for use with younger populations are lacking. A measure of negative trauma-related cognitions for use with children and adolescents, the Child Post-Traumatic Cognitions Inventory (CPTCI), is presented. The measure was devised as an age-appropriate version of the adult Post-Traumatic Cognitions Inventory (Foa et al., 1999).

Methods: The CPTCI was developed and validated within a large (n = 570) sample, comprising community and trauma-exposed samples of children and adolescents aged 6-18 years.

Results: Principal components analysis suggested a two-component structure. These components were labelled 'permanent and disturbing change' and 'fragile person in a scary world', and were each found to possess good internal consistency, test-retest reliability, convergent validity, and discriminative validity. The reliability and validity of these sub-scales was present regardless of whether the measure was completed in the acute phase or several months after a trauma. Scores on these sub-scales did not vary with age.

Conclusions: The CPTCI is a reliable and valid measure that is not specific to the type of trauma exposure, and shows considerable promise as a research and clinical tool. The structure of this measure suggests that appraisals concerning the more abstract consequences of a trauma, as well as physical threat and vulnerability, are pertinent factors in trauma-exposed children and adolescents, even prepubescent children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Cognition*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Time Factors