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PTSD: National Center for PTSD


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Children's PTSD Inventory (CPTSDI)



This section is for Researchers, Providers, & Helpers

This section is for Researchers, Providers, and Helpers

Children's PTSD Inventory (CPTSDI)

Saigh, 2000


The CPTSDI is a clinician-administered scale for children between 6 and 18 years old. Items were based on DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for PTSD. Examples of traumatic ("scary") experiences are described, and then the child is asked if he or she has ever experienced a scary event and, if so, if he or she felt upset when it happened and/or if the child felt he or she could do nothing to stop it from happening.

If an event meets screening criteria then symptoms are assessed in reference to that event, including 11 items concerning reexperiencing symptoms, 16 concerning numbing and avoidance, and 7 concerning arousal. Questions related to duration of symptoms are also asked.

The instrument yields dimensional and categorical scores to indicate severity and presence of a diagnosis of PTSD. In addition, scores on 5 subscales (Situational Reactivity, Reexperiencing, Avoidance and Numbing, Increased Arousal, and Significant Impairment) are yielded. The CPTSDI can be used in either research or clinical settings.

Sample Items

  • Has a very scary thing happened to you?
  • Did you feel that you could not do anything to stop this from happening?
  • If you see or think about people, places, or things that remind you about what happened, do your hands feel sweaty?
  • Since this happened, have you changed your mind about your chances of having a long life?
  • Have your grades in school gotten worse since this happened?


Measure is available in Spanish from the publisher.


Saigh, P., Yaski, A.E., Oberfield, R.A., Green, B.L., Halamandaris, P.V., Rubenstein, H., Nester, J., Resko, J., Hetz, B., & McHugh, M. (2000). The Children's PTSD Inventory: Development and reliability. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 30, 369-380.

Additional Reviews

Ohan, J. L., Myers, K., Collett, B. R. (2002). Ten-year review of rating scales. IV: Scales assessing trauma and its effects. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 41, 1401-22.

To Obtain Scale

Customer Care
The Psychological Corporation
19500 Bulverde Road
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Phone: (800) 872-1726

Available for purchase at www.PsychCorp.comLink will take you outside the VA website. VA is not responsible for the content of the linked site. website.

Measure availability: We provide information on a variety of measures assessing trauma and PTSD. These measures are intended for use by qualified mental health professionals and researchers. Measures authored by National Center staff are available as direct downloads or by request. Measures developed outside of the National Center can be requested via contact information available on the information page for the specific measure.

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

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