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Keywords:

  • posttraumatic stress disorder;
  • Child Behavior Checklist;
  • validity;
  • sexual abuse

Abstract

Several assessment instruments include measures that are purported to assess characteristics of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although these measures are used often by researchers and clinicians, few are supported by extensive validity data. The PTSD scale of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) is one that has not yet encountered significant challenges to its validity. We examine the concurrent and discriminant validity of the CBCL-PTSD scale. Participants included 63 non-clinic-referred sexually abused (SA) children, 60 non-SA psychiatric outpatient children, and 61 non-SA, non-clinic-referred schoolchildren. Results revealed questionable concurrent validity for this scale, and suggest poor discriminant validity between SA children and non-SA psychiatric outpatients.