Factor structure and reliability of the childhood trauma questionnaire and prevalence estimates of trauma for male and female street youth

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Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp. 364-379.

Within the past three decades there has been sizeable growth in research examining various aspects of childhood maltreatment.  The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) and Childhood Trauma Questionnaire Short-Form (CTQ-SF) are widely used in clinical settings, community surveys and program evaluation, and provide a retrospective identification of the prevalence of child abuse and neglect.  The CTQ-SF tool is a 28-item form that takes approximately five minutes to administer.  The current study tests the psychometric properties of the CTQ-SF (n=397) using a sample of street youth, comparing male and female respondents.  Almost all (98%) respondents met the criteria for at least one form of maltreatment; 34.5% met criteria for all five forms (i.e., emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional neglect, physical neglect).  The CTQ-SF was found to have a weak factorial invariance, suggesting that it may be used to make a valid comparison of scores of child abuse and neglect as a five-factor model.  However, the lack of strong factorial invariance indicates that it may not be equitable to compare scores between males and females, possibly indicating that the two groups do in fact interpret items differently.  

Canadian CW research
Journal article