Development and psychometric evaluation of a new assessment method for childhood maltreatment experiences: the interview for traumatic events in childhood (ITEC)

Child Abuse Negl. 2009 Aug;33(8):505-17. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2009.03.002. Epub 2009 Sep 15.


Objective: We conducted a comprehensive assessment of the reliability and validity of the Interview for Traumatic Events in Childhood (ITEC, Lobbestael, Arntz, Kremers, & Sieswerda, 2006), a retrospective, semi-structured interview for childhood maltreatment. The ITEC aims to yield dimensional scores for severity of experiences of different childhood maltreatment dimensions.

Methods: Initial psychometric properties were tested with the pilot version of the ITEC in 362 participants. A second study assessed the revised ITEC in 217 participants, patients and non-patients.

Results: Factor analyses produced the best fit for a five-factor model (sexual, physical and emotional abuse, physical and emotional neglect). The scales had good internal consistency, except for the physical neglect subscale, and excellent inter-rater reliability. The scales were highly associated with equivalent scales of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (i.e., good convergent validity), and showed good correspondence with patient file information (i.e., good criterion validity).

Conclusion: These results support the reliability and validity of the ITEC, making it a potentially useful tool for assessing a broad range of traumatic events in childhood.

Practice implication: The first step in therapy for dealing with childhood maltreatment is to map abusive experiences and assess their severity and impact. Since maltreatment is a sensitive topic that is not reported on easily, trauma interviews are promising assessment instruments since they provide the opportunity to probe and clarify. There are hardly any well-validated trauma interviews available that assess the extent of maltreatment in and outside the family in various dimensions. The current study tries to fill this gap by presenting a new trauma interview; the Interview for Traumatic Events in Childhood.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child Abuse / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Wounds and Injuries / psychology
  • Young Adult