Now available: Two trauma screening forms for children!

For children, experiencing a traumatic event—such as physical or sexual abuse, neglect, victimization by a peer, the death of a parent, witnessing a violent act, experiencing a natural disaster, and more—can have devastating and lasting psychological effects.

According to the National Children’s Alliance, child abuse victims experience trauma symptoms like fear, sleep disturbances, anxiety, and depression at rates verging on those experienced by war veterans. In addition, they are more likely to perform poorly in school, have behavior problems at home, and, left untreated, have poor long-term mental and physical health.

Getting these children the help and healing they need has historically relied on the results of a forensic interview. However, clinical intake evaluation results can vary based on the clinician’s training and experience, and the time involved in administering and scoring standardized tests often precludes their use in settings like children’s advocacy centers, which see large numbers of children in relatively short periods of time.

The Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC) Screening Form and Trauma Symptom Checklist for Young Children (TSCYC) Screening Form were developed based on a critical need for standardized screening measures that can quickly evaluate trauma symptomology and risk in children who have experienced abuse or trauma.

The one-page carbonless screening forms, which are also available in Spanish, take just 5 minutes to administer and score and can be used to assist practitioners in the field with the treatment referral process.

Derived from the full-form TSCC (a 54-item self-report for youth ages 8 to 17 years) and TSCYC (a 90-item caretaker report for children ages 3 to 12 years), both the TSCC and TSCYC screening forms include 12 items and two subscales—General Trauma and Sexual Concerns—that are scored separately. Selected items were best at predicting overall trauma and sexual-related symptomology within their respective normative samples on the full forms.

These new TSCC and TSCYC screening forms are reliable and valid measures that quickly indicate whether a child or youth is at risk for a clinically significant psychological disturbance. This helps clinicians determine the need for follow-up testing and can help children get on the path toward healing.