Evaluating the Psychometric Properties of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire for Use in a Military Sample




Vacek, Sarah

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The CTQ was originally developed as a 70-item, multivariate measure of childhood trauma (Bernstein at al., 1994). Bernstein and colleagues (2003) then created a short form of the measure in order to decrease respondent burden and aid with institutional time restraints, resulting in a 28-item measure of childhood trauma. Since then, there have been inconsistencies across studies regarding the appropriate factor structure of the CTQ-SF across diverse samples. Due to the unique experiences that are associated with enlisting in the military, we assessed the factor structure of the CTQ-SF in a U.S. military sample. A five-factor correlated traits model proved to be a superior fit compared to both a unidimensional model and the bifactor model. These finding suggests that the CTQ-SF is best measured at the subscale level, due to the uniqueness among each of the trauma categories. Total and subscale scores of the CTQ-SF were positively related to PTSD, depression and anxiety, and negatively related to perceived social support.


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Childhood Truama, CTQ, Factor Analysis, Military, Psychological Measurement