Parent Report of Post-traumatic Stress Symptoms

Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 10/09/2012 - 11:52


Ricky Greenwald, Psy.D.

Greenwald, R., & Rubin, A. (1999). Brief assessment of children's post-traumatic symptoms: Development and preliminary validation of parent and child scales. Research on Social Work Practice, 9, 61-75.


Cost Involved
Measure Description: 

The PROPS is a parent-report measure for children and adolescents that assesses a broad range of post-traumatic symptoms, with or without an identified trauma, and can be used to measure changes in symptomatology over time.

Domain(s) Assessed : 
Trauma Exposure/Reminders
Language(s) : 
Age Range: 
Measure Type: 
# of Items: 
Measure Format: 
Average Time to Complete (min): 
Reporter Type: 
Average Time to Score (min): 
past 7 days
Response Format: 

3-point rating: 0=not true or rarely true, 1=somewhat or sometimes true, 2=very true or often true

Materials Needed: 
Sample Item(s): 
DomainsScaleSample Items
Posttraumatic stress
symptoms (child)
 Difficulty concentrating
  Stomach aches
Information Provided: 
Areas of Concern/Risks
Continuous Assessment
Raw Scores


Training to Interpret: 
Prior Experience Psych Testing/Interpretation

Parallel/Alternate Forms

Parallel Form: 
Alternate Form: 
Different Age Forms: 
Altered Version Forms: 
Describe Alternative Forms: 

Although there is a Child Report of Post-traumatic Symptoms (CROPS), which is also reviewed in this database, the PROPS has more items, and the items on the two checklists were derived from slightly different places, and thus are somewhat different. The author reports that “the CROPS and PROPS are not altered versions of one another. They are related by name, author, and coverage of items from the same item pool. . .However, they’re entirely different forms, with different histories, different items, and different formats. Another critical difference is that the CROPS focuses on thoughts and feelings (internal processes) whereas the PROPS focuses on observable behaviors (externals); there is some item overlap but many more
items. .are not repeated from one instrument to the other.”


Clinical Cutoffs: 
If Yes, Specify Cutoffs: 
Cutoff Score of 16 indicates cause for clinical concern.
Test-Retest-# days: 42AcceptablePearson's R0.79
Internal ConsistencyAcceptableCoefficient Alpha0.870.930.91
Parallel/Alternate FormsAcceptablePearson's R0.340.60.44
References for Reliability: 

Data are from Greenwald & Rubin, 1999 and Greenwald et al. (2000).
Internal consistency: Range .87 - .93 across four studies.
Parallel: correlation between the CROPS and the PROPS across three studies.
Correlation is consistent with what has been found in the literature regarding correlations between parent and child measures.

References for Content Validity: 

Data are from Greenwald & Rubin, 1999 and Greenwald et al. (2000).
Internal consistency: Range .87 - .93 across four studies.
Parallel: correlation between the CROPS and the PROPS across three studies.
Correlation is consistent with what has been found in the literature regarding correlations between parent and child measures.

Construct Validity: 
Validity TypeNot knownNot foundNonclincal SamplesClinical SamplesDiverse Samples
Sensitive to ChangeYes
Intervention EffectsYes
Longitudinal/Maturation EffectsYes
Sensitive to Theoretically Distinct GroupsYes
Factorial ValidityYes
References for Construct Validity: 

PROPS scores were found to correlate with a measure of the degree of trauma a child had experienced.

An exploratory principal components factor analysis with an oblique rotation suggested a three factor structure, based on the scree test. The first factor contained predominantly internalizing symptoms (e.g. anxiety, fear), the second contained predominantly externalizing symptoms (e.g. antisocial behaviors, interpersonal difficulties), and the third factor contained primarily somatic and sleep problems. A second-order factor analysis suggested that each scale could be conceptualized within the single overarching construct of post-traumatic symptoms.

In a study of 15 sexually abused Iranian girls randomly assigned to CBT or EMDR treatment, the PROPS showed evidence of sensitivity to intervention effects, with pre to posttest comparisons showing significant improvement for both the EMDR and CBT groups (Jaberghaderi, Greenwald, Rubin, Zand, & Dolatabadi, 2004).

The PROPS and CROPS were also used in a randomized trial of 29 boys with conduct problems. Boys were randomly assigned to standard care (residential or day treatment) or standard care plus 3 trauma-focused EMDR sessions. No significant treatment differences were found with the CROPS or PROPS. Both groups decreased on the Impact of Events Scale, 8-item version (IES-8), with a trend favoring the treatment group. The authors suggested the difference in findings between the IES-8 and CROPS/PROPS may be because the IES-8 focused on a specific traumatic memory, which was the target of treatment, whereas the CROPS and PROPS are more broad-spectrum trauma measures (Soberman, Greenwald, & Rule, 2002).

In a study examining the effects of indirect exposure to the 9-11 attacks (Saylor, Cowart, Lipovsky, Jackson, & Finch (2003). PROPS scores were related to exposure to negative media images (r=.20, p<.008) and positive media images (r=.23, p<.002).

Criterion Validity: 
Not KnownNot FoundNonclinical SamplesClinical SamplesDiverse Samples
Predictive Validity:
Postdictive Validity:
Overall Psychometric Limitations: 

* Information regarding psychometrics can be found on the author’s website at (click on assessment) 

*Greenwald & Rubin (1999) report cut scores based on comparisons of a scale rating the degree of trauma a child experienced (1=no significant trauma or loss; 2=possibility of some significant trauma or loss; 3=significant trauma or loss likely to have occurred, and 4=significant trauma or loss definitely occurred).

*Psychometrics from the Greenwald & Rubin (1999) studies are based on a community sample of volunteers, with a response rate of 20% in urban schools and 23% in rural schools.

*Psychometrics have not been fully established with trauma populations. While a study used the CROPS with 51 kids in post-disaster treatment in a CMHC in the Netherlands, this study did not establish the reliability of the measure with this population. It did demonstrate some validity data, but not enough to indicate in the review that the CROPS has established validity and reliability within this trauma population. (deRoos, Greenwald, de Jongh, & Noorthoorn 2004).

* The majority of studies involving the CROPS and PROPS have involved school samples. While many of these samples have been conducted in other countries and have demonstrated evidence for the reliability and validity of the measure in German, Bosnian, and Scottish samples, more research is needed examining the use of the measure with diverse ethnic groups in the United States, with clinic populations, and with specific trauma

* The Greenwald & Rubin (1999) study reports on the validity of a 30-item PROPS. The latest version has 32-items. While the change in the measure most likely represents an improvement, research is needed examining the psychometrics of the most recent version of the PROPS.

Translation Quality

Language(s) Other Than English: 
Language:TranslatedBack TranslatedReliableGood PsychometricsSimilar Factor StructureNorms AvailableMeasure Developed for this Group
1. SpanishYesYesUnkUnkUnkUnkUnk
2. GermanYesYesYesYesYesYesUnk
3. BosnianYesYesYesYesYesYesUnk
4. PersianYesYesYesUnkUnkUnkUnk
5. DutchYesYesYesYesUnkUnkUnk
6. ItalianYesUnkUnkUnkUnkUnkUnk
7. FinnishYesYesYesUnkYesUnkUnk

Population Information

Population Used For Measure Development: 

A volunteer community sample of 54 rural and 152 urban school children in grades 4-8, and their parents. The response rate was 20% for the urban schools and 23% for the rural schools. Median age of children was 11.5, with a range from 8 to 15. 49% were male; 51% female. Of the 88% who indicated ethnic status, 53% were African American, 23% Hispanic, 17% Caucasian, and 7% Other. Of the 77 parents who indicated educational status, 17% did not graduate high school, 54% went no further than high school, 38% attended college or a trade school but did not graduate, and 17% graduated college.

Measure has demonstrated evidence of reliability and validity in which populations?: 
Sexual Abuse
Use with Diverse Populations: 
Population Type: Measure Used with Members of this GroupMembers of this Group Studied in Peer-Reviewed JournalsReliableGood PsychometricsNorms AvailableMeasure Developed for this Group
1. Lower Socio-economic statusYesYesYesYes
2. Rural populationsYesYesYesYes
3. Variety of ethnic/cultural groupsYesYesYesYes

Pros & Cons/References


1. Measure is short

2. Clear simple language for reliability and ease of use with young, low IQ, and/or undereducated

3. Assesses broad range of post-traumatic symptoms beyond PTSD symptoms.

4. Measure has been shown to have good internal consistency in samples outside the U.S.

5. After the initial purchase, the measure is free.

6. As the author reports, “the instrument appears to be equally sensitive to PTSD symptoms of both genders. This is important because in many other PTSD studies, the girls look worse than the boys; that may be an artifact of the instrumentation.”


1. Measure is not yet standardized (no norms)

2. More research is needed examining the use of the measure with clinical samples.

3. The majority of studies have not yet been published or subjected to full peer review, so there is little published validity data on the PROPS.

4. While the measure has been translated into a number of different languages, caution should be used in interpreting the measures given that psychometrics are not fully explored with the different language versions. Some versions, such as the German and Bosnian versions have much more research that others (e.g. Spanish).


A PsychInfo literature search and correspondance with the author revealed the measure has been referenced in 3 peer reviewed journal articles.

Greenwald, R., & Rubin, A. (1999). Brief assessment of children's post-traumatic symptoms: Development and preliminary validation of parent and child scales. Research on Social Work Practice, 9, 61-75.

Jaberghaderi, N., Greenwald, R., Rubin, A., Zand, S.O., & Dolatabadi, S. (2004). A comparison of CBT and EMDR for sexually abused Iranian girls. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 11, 358-368.

Saylor, C.F., Cowart, B.L., Lipovsky, J.A., Jackson, C., Finch, A.J. (X). Media exposure to September 11: Elementary school students’ Experiences and posttraumatic symptoms. American Behavioral Scientist, 46(12), 1622-1642.

Soberman, G.B., Greenwald, R., & Rule, D.L. (2002). A controlled study of eye movement desensitization and repreocessing (EMDR) for boys with conduct problems. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma, 6, 217-236.

Developer of Review: 
Maya Tsukernik & Marla Zucker, Ph.D.
Editor of Review: 
Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D. & Madhur Kulkarni, M.S.
Last Updated: 
Thu, 01/23/2014