Measuring trauma and stressful events in childhood and adolescence among patients with first-episode psychosis: Initial factor structure, reliability, and validity of the trauma experiences checklist

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Psychiatry Research








First-episode psychosis; Psychosis; Schizophrenia; Stressful life events; Trauma; Traumatic experiences


Past trauma and stressful events, especially in childhood and adolescence, are common among individuals with serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia. Traumatic experiences are thought to be a socio-environmental risk factor not only for poorer outcomes, but also potentially for the onset of these disorders. Because improved measurement tools are needed, we developed and studied, among 205 first-episode psychosis patients, the factor structure, internal consistency reliability, and initial validity of the Trauma Experiences Checklist (TEC), our measure of trauma and stressful events during childhood/adolescence. We assessed validity of subscales using correlations with Childhood Trauma Questionnaire-Short Form, Parental Harsh Discipline, Violence Exposure, and TEC-Informant Version scores. Exploratory factor analysis resulted in two internally consistent subscales (Cronbach's α=0.79 and 0.80, respectively), interpersonal abuse and family stress, and violence, death, and legal involvement. Scores from the former subscale were substantially associated with CTQ-SF physical, emotional, and sexual abuse (r=0.42-0.57, all p<0.001) and Violence Exposure (r=0.49, p<0.001). On the other hand, violence, death, and legal involvement scores were most highly correlated with Violence Exposure (r=0.49, p<0.001), and not with most CTQ-SF subscales. The TEC is a potentially useful tool in assessing diverse traumatic life events across various social contexts during childhood and adolescence. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.