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Keywords:

  • reliability;
  • measures;
  • trauma exposure;
  • serious mental illness;
  • schizophrenia

Abstract

Although violent victimization is highly prevalent among men and women with serious mental illness (SMI; e.g., schizophrenia, bipolar disorder), future research in this area may be impeded by controversy concerning the ability of individuals with SMI to report traumatic events reliably. This article presents the results of a study exploring the temporal consistency of reports of childhood sexual abuse, adult sexual abuse, and adult physical abuse, as well as current symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among 50 people with SMI. Results show that trauma history and PTSD assessments can, for the most part, yield reliable information essential to further research in this area. The study also demonstrates the importance of using a variety of statistical methods to assess the reliability of self-reports of trauma history.