Childhood Trauma Questionnaire

Author of Tool: 

Pennebaker, J.W. & Susman, J.R.

Key references: 

Pennebaker, J.W. & Susman, J.R. (1988). Disclosure of traumas and psychosomatic processes. Social Science and Medicine, 26, 327-332.

Primary use / Purpose: 

Aims to assess meaning taken from traumatic experiences in childhood

Background: 

The issue of understanding the world is particularly relevant to our confronting upsetting or traumatic experiences. If we get a parking ticket, we may briefly ponder our sin, put it into perspective, pay the fine, and ultimately forget it. Such a minor trauma may cause slight anxiety and cause us to think briefly about the nature of cars, parking slots, and the role of police in our society. Other traumas are not dispensed with so easily. If we were molested as children, fired from our jobs, or mugged, far more physiological and cognitive activity would ensue. A fundamental psychological question concerns how we come to find meaning in traumatic experiences. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire is a brief survey of six early traumatic experiences (death, divorce, violence, sexual abuse, illness or other), and asseses individual's understanding of their childhood trauma.

Psychometrics: 

For psychometric information see Pennebaker, J.W. & Susman, J.R. (1988). Disclosure of traumas and psychosomatic processes. Social Science and Medicine, 26, 327-332.

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