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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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Traumatic Life Events Questionnaire (TLEQ)


Traumatic Life Events Questionnaire (TLEQ)

Kubany, 2000


The TLEQ is a 23-item self-report measure of 22 types of potentially traumatic events including natural disasters, exposure to warfare, robbery involving a weapon, physical abuse and being stalked. For each event, respondents are asked to provide the number of times it occurred (ranging from "never" to "more than 5 times") and whether fear, helplessness or horror was present ("yes/no").

Some events include a question about presence of injury ("yes/no"), and for victimization questions, characteristics of the perpetrator (e.g., "stranger? yes/no"). The last question asks respondents to identify the one event that "causes you the most distress" among those endorsed. Respondents are also asked about their age upon first occurrence, date of last occurrence, and amount of distress the event causes ("no distress" to "extreme distress"). The measure can be used for both clinical and research purposes.

Sample Item

Were you involved in a motor vehicle accident for which you received medical attention or that badly injured or killed someone? ("never" to "more than 5 times").


There is also an interview version of this measure.


Kubany, E. S., Haynes, S. N., Leisen, M. B., Owens, J. A., Kaplan, A. S., Watson, S. B., & Burns, K. (2000). Development and preliminary validation of a brief broad-spectrum measure of trauma exposure: The Traumatic Life Events Questionnaire. Psychological Assessment, 12, 210-224.

Additional Reviews

Orsillo (2001) (PDF) p. 297.

Orsillo, Susan M. (2001). Measures for acute stress disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder. In M.M. Antony & S.M. Orsillo (Eds.), Practitioner's guide to empirically based measures of anxiety (pp. 255-307). New York: KluwerAcademic/Plenum. PILOTS ID 24368

Norris and Hamblen (2004) (PDF) p. 69.

Norris, Fran H. & Hamblen, Jessica L. (2004). Standardized self-report measures of civilian trauma and PTSD. In J.P. Wilson, T.M. Keane & T. Martin (Eds.), Assessing psychological trauma and PTSD (pp. 63-102). New York: Guilford Press. PILOTS ID 18638

To Obtain Scale

Edward Kubany, PhD, ABPP
4211 Waialae Ave, #206
Honolulu, HI 9681

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.

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