Brief Practical Screeners in English and Spanish for Acute Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms in Children

Nancy Kassam-Adams, Meghan L. Marsac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


With millions of children experiencing acute traumatic events, validated screening tools are needed in both research and service contexts. We aimed to identify and evaluate short forms of the Acute Stress Checklist for Children in English (ASC-Kids) and Spanish (Cuestionario de Estrés Agudo-Niños [CEA-N]), using data from 4 samples (Ns of 254, 225, 176, and 80) of children with recent acute trauma. Confirmatory factor analyses of the full checklist in the largest sample guided item selection for 6-item and 3-item short forms. Across samples, both short forms (ASC-6/ASC-3 in English; CEA-6/CEA-3 in Spanish) were correlated with acute stress disorder (ASD) symptom severity on the full checklist (r =.79 to.92), and on an interview measure (r =.52 to.62). Receiver operating curve analyses for each short form detecting current ASD status showed high areas under the curve (.76 to.95). Cutoff scores identified based on Sample 1 provided acceptable sensitivity (.59 to 1.00) and specificity (.57 to.86) across samples. Children scoring above the cutoff on each screener reported greater concurrent impairment from ASD symptoms and more severe posttraumatic stress 3 months later. These very brief measures could expand clinicians’ and researchers’ ability to screen for acute posttraumatic stress in children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-490
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2016 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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