Hospitalized adolescents' reports of sexual and physical abuse: A comparison of two self-report measures

Deborah S. Lipschitz, David P. Bernstein, Robert K. Winegar, Steven M. Southwick

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49 Scopus citations


This study assesses the consistency of adolescents' reports of sexual and physical abuse via two self-report questionnaires with different measurement approaches and examines demographic and psychopathological characteristics that influence abuse reporting. Seventy adolescent inpatients completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) (Likert-type items are summed to form dimensional scales, and cutoff scores determine abuse status), the Traumatic Events Questionnaire - Adolescents (multiple-choice items determine abuse status) and measures of depression, suicidal ideation, and dissociative symptoms. Consistent reports of physical and sexual abuse were given by 86% and 71% of youngsters, respectively. Discrepant reporters of sexual abuse were significantly more likely to be male, whereas consistent reporters were significantly more depressed and suicidal and reported higher levels of sexual abuse and emotional and physical neglect. Adolescents, for the most part, were consistent in their responses about sexual and physical abuse on both a Likert scale and a direct-answer-format questionnaire. The CTQ had a lower threshold for detection of sexual abuse, particularly for boys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-654
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Abuse questionnaire
  • Adolescents
  • Comparison
  • Self-report


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