Brief Betrayal Trauma Survey (BBTS)

Author of Tool: 

Goldberg, LR. & Freyd, J.J.

Key references: 

Goldberg, LR. & Freyd, J.J. (2006). Self-reports of potentially traumatic experiences in an adult community sample: Gender differences and test-retest stabilities of the items in a Brief Betrayal-Trauma Survey. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 7(3), 39-63.

Freyd, J.J. & Goldberg, L.R. (2004) Gender difference in exposure to betrayal trauma. Presentation at the 20th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, New Orleans, LA, November 14-18, 2004.

Primary use / Purpose: 

Assesses and distinguishes between four different types of traumatic events relating top betrayal, namely Interpersonal from non-interpersonal events, betrayal events (where the perpetrator had a close relationship with the target) from other interpersonal events (where the relationship was not so close), childhood from adult events, and physical versus sexual versus emotional types of abuse.

Background: 

According to betrayal-trauma theory (Freyd, 1994, 1996), experiences involving a betrayal of trust, such as childhood abuse perpetrated by an adult who is quite close to the victim, led to a set of outcomes that differ in kind from traumas that do not involve betrayal. Freyd (1999, 2001) hypothesized that separate clusters of symptoms of post-traumatic distress arise from two distinct dimensions of harm–life threat and social betrayal. Life threat is predicted to lead to symptoms of anxiety and hyper-arousal; social betrayal should lead to symptoms of dissociation, emotional numbness and depression, and constricted or abusive relationships. High levels of both life threat and social betrayal characterize the most severe traumatic events; with both aspects present, both classes of symptoms can co-occur, as in cases of post-traumatic stress disorder. In summary, betrayal-trauma theory emphasizes the nature of the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator, particularly whether or not the perpetrator is a caregiver. Although many measures of trauma history have recently become available (see Norris, 1992; Norris & Riad, 1997; Wilson & Keane, 2004), the field has lacked a brief instrument that discriminates experiences with betrayal-related events (interpersonal events in a close relationship) from other kinds of potentially traumatic events, which is exactly what the Brief Betrayal Trauma Survey (BBTS) accomplishes. 

Psychometrics: 

For psychometric details see: Goldberg, LR. & Freyd, J.J. (2006). Self-reports of potentially traumatic experiences in an adult community sample: Gender differences and test-retest stabilities of the items in a Brief Betrayal-Trauma Survey. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 7(3), 39-63.

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