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The Child Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist in a Sample of South African Youth: Establishing Factorial Validity

Frank-Schultz, Friederike MA (Clinical Psychology)*; Naidoo, Pamela DPhil*†; Cloete, Karen J. PhD; Seedat, Soraya MBChB, FC Psych, PhD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: August 2012 - Volume 200 - Issue 8 - p 692–698
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31826140e7
Original Articles

To address the diverse health effects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in youth, reliable and valid screening and diagnostic instruments that can be adapted to the specific context in which they are used, are required. Here, we assessed the psychometric properties (factorial validity, concurrent validity, and internal consistency) of the Child PTSD Checklist in treatment-seeking youth using secondary data. The scale demonstrated high internal consistency (Cronbach α = 0.93). Exploratory factor analysis revealed a three-factor structure (anxiety and avoidance, anger and dissociation, and depressive symptoms) that accounted for 41.9% of the total variance. Concurrent validity was fair between the Child PTSD Checklist and the diagnostic Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia, Present and Lifetime version when assessing for PTSD. The Child PTSD Checklist seems to be a promising tool for assessing PTSD in trauma-exposed youth in clinic settings. However, further studies are needed to address the checklist’s broader utility.

*Department of Psychology, University of the Western Cape, Bellville; †Population Health, Health Systems and Innovation (PHHSI), Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), Cape Town, and the University of the Western Cape, Bellville; and ‡Department of Psychiatry, University of Stellenbosch, Tygerberg, South Africa.

Send reprint requests to Karen J. Cloete, PhD, University of Stellenbosch, Faculty of Medicine Health Sciences, Department of Psychiatry, PO Box 19063, Tygerberg 7505, South Africa. E-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.