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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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My Worst Experiences Survey


My Worst Experiences Survey

National Center for Study of Corporal Punishment and Alternatives in Schools, 1992


This measure asks children about their most stressful experiences and then associated reactions. Part 1 assesses 21 stressful events (e.g., abuse disaster, family problems) and asks children to select their "worst" event. They are then asked six more questions about that event. In Part II, children are asked to rate the frequency and duration of 105 possible thoughts, feelings, and behaviors they may be having in response to the endorsed events. Items are rated on five point scales where 1 = one time to 5 = all of the time.

The MWES can be completed in 20 to 30 minutes by any child or teen who reads at a third-grade level or better. Responses to Part II yield a Total Score, Inconsistent Responding Index, DSM-IV PTSD Criteria Scores, and Symptom Subscales for depression, hopelessness, somatic symptoms, oppositional conduct, hypervigilance, dissociation/dreams, and general maladjustment.


There is another version called the "My Worst School Experience Survey" focused on stressful events that occur at school.


National Center for Study of Corporal Punishment and Alternatives in Schools, 1992. My Worst Experiences Survey, Philadelphia, PA. Temple University Press.

To Obtain Scale

Available for download at* website.

Measure availability: Information on measures is available to everyone. However, the assessment tools themselves can only be distributed to qualified mental health professionals and researchers. We maintain measures developed by affiliated staff of the National Center for PTSD.

Date this content was last updated is at the bottom of the page.

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Where to Get Help for PTSD

Using the PILOTS database for Assessment Information
The PILOTS database is the largest electronic index to the world's literature on traumatic stress.

The National Center for PTSD does not provide direct clinical care, individual referrals or benefits information.