BACKGROUND: The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire - Short Form (CTQ-SF) is a widely utilized self-report instrument in the assessment and characterization of childhood trauma. Yet, research on the instrument's psychometric properties in clinical samples is sparse, and the Danish version of the CTQ-SF has not been previously evaluated in clinical samples.
OBJECTIVES: To examine the structural validity, internal consistency reliability, and multi-method convergent validity of the CTQ-SF in a heterogenous clinical sample from Denmark.
PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: The study was based on data from four Danish clinical samples (N?=?393): 1) Outpatients diagnosed with personality disorders, 2) Patients commencing psychiatric treatment for non-affective first-episode psychosis, 3) Patients diagnosed with first-episode or prolonged depression recruited from general practitioners and an outpatient mood disorder clinic, and 4) detained delinquent boys.
METHODS: Confirmatory factor analysis was used to explore structural validity. Also, we calculated internal consistency and multi-method convergent validity with interview-based ratings of adverse parenting.
RESULTS: Confirmatory factor analyses indicated that the five-factor structure described in CTQ-SF manual with three error correlated items best fitted the data, as compared to various other models. Coefficients of congruence also supported factorial similarity across countries (i.e. US substance abuser and a mixed Brazilian sample). Internal consistency reliability was acceptable and comparable to estimates previously published. Multi-method convergent validity associations further corroborated the validity of the CTQ-SF.
CONCLUSION: These findings provide support for the reliability and validity of the Danish version of the CTQ-SF in clinical samples.