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CROPS - Child Report of Post-traumatic Symptoms

The CROPS is a self-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.




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.

Contact Information: 
Cost Involved
Domain Assessed: 
Traumatic Stress
Age Range: 
Measure Type: 
Measure Format: 


Number of Items: 
Average Time to Complete (min): 
Reporter Type: 
Average Time to Score (min): 
Past 7 days
Response Format: 

3-point rating: 0=none; 1=some, 2=lots

Materials Needed: 
Sample Items: 
DomainsScaleSample Items
Posttraumatic stress symptoms (child) I daydream.
I try to forget about bad things that have happened.
I feel all alone.
Information Provided: 
Areas of Concern/Risks
Continuous Assessment
Raw Scores


Training to Administer: 
Prior Experience in Psych Testing/Interpretation

Parallel or Alternate Forms

Parallel Forms: 
Alternate Forms: 
Different Age Forms: 
Altered Version Forms: 
Alternative Forms Description: 

Although there is a Parent Report of Post-traumatic Symptoms (PROPS), which is also reviewed in this database, 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: 
Clinical Cutoffs Description: 

Cutoff Score of 19 indicates cause for clinical concern.

Test-Retest #:42Pearson's r0.8
Internal ConsistencyAcceptableCoefficient alpha0.80.920.91
Parallel/Alternate FormsAcceptablePearson's r0.340.6
References for Reliability: 

Data presented above are from Greenwald & Rubin (1999) and Greenwald, Satin, Azubuike, Borgen, & Rubin (2001). TEST-RETEST A second study, found the 6-month test-retest reliability to be r=.70. Parallel/Alternate Forms: Examined reliability between the CROPS and the PROPS. Correlations are consistent with the literature examining agreement between parent and child reports.

References for Content Validity: 

(Greenwald & Rubin, 1999) Original items reflect symptoms found to be prominent in Fletcher's (1993) meta-analysis of the child-trauma literature and symptoms characteristic of DSM-IV PTSD criteria. "Original items were evaluated by a team of 5 academic and clinical experts in child trauma, for content validity as well as clarity." Items were also piloted on a treatment sample of 30 children to examine comprehension and sensitivity to change. This process resulted in the elimination of over half the items and revision of many. Thus 28 items were retained that appeared to be comprehensible to children and to change along with the child's post-traumatic stress status. The author reports that “following the first large validation study (Greenwald & Rubin, 1999) two more items were eliminated, leaving 26.”

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

Many of the CROPS studies have been conducted in other countries including in Bosnia, Germany, and the Netherlands. The majority were conducted with community samples recruited from schools. One study (Greenwald et al., 2001) examined the psychometrics in a juvenile justice population. CROPS scores have been found to correlate with TSCC (r=.70) and Adolescent Dissociative Experiences Survey scores (r=.74). The CROPS also correlates in the expected direction with measures of distress, family stress, neuroticism, and mastery, and with the degree of trauma a child had experienced. (Greenwald & Rubin, 1999; Greenwald et al., 2001). Changes in CROPS scores correlate with change in TSCC scores (r=.70; Greenwald et al., 2001). An exploratory principal components factor analysis with an oblique rotation suggested a three-factor structure, based on the scree test. The first factor contained a wide-range of items including self-alienation and dysphoria. The second contained somatic symptoms, and the third contained items associated with avoidance and intrusive thoughts. 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 CROPS showed evidence of sensitivity to intervention effects, with pre- to post-test comparisons showing significant improvement for the EMDR group but not the CBT group (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). The CROPS was used in a study examining the effects of indirect exposure to the 9/11 attacks (Saylor, Cowart, Lipovsky, Jackson, & Finch, 2003). PROPS scores and scores on the Pediatric Emotional Distress Scale (another parentreport measure) were related to exposure to negative and positive media images, but CROPS scores were not.

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

Information regarding psychometrics can be found on the author’s website at (click on Assessment). 1. Greenwald & Rubin (1999) report cut scores based on comparisons of a scale rating the degree of trauma that 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). 2. 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. 3. 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). 4. 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 groups. 5. The Greenwald & Rubin (1999) study reports on the validity of a 28-item CROPS. The latest version has 26 items. While the change in the measure most likely represents an improvement and the psychometrics are most likely similar, research is needed examining the psychometrics of the most recent version of the CROPS. 6. The author notes that additional reliability and validity data from the Netherlands study are being prepared for publication.


Translation Quality: 
Language:TranslatedBack TranslatedReliableGood PsychometricsSimilar Factor StructureNorms AvailableMeasure Developed for this Group
1. SpanishYesYesUnkUnkUnkUnkUnk
2. GermanYesYesYesYesYesYesUnk
3. BosnianYesYesYesYesYesYesUnk
4. Presian YesYesYesUnkUnkUnkUnk
5. DutchYesYesYesYesUnkUnkUnk
6. Italian YesUnkUnkUnkUnkUnkUnk
7. FinnishYesYesUnkUnkUnkUnkUnk
8. French (Canadian)YesYesYesUnkUnkUnkUnk

Population Information

Population Used for Measure Development: 

A volunteer community sample of 54 rural and 152 urban schoolchildren 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.

Populations with which Measure Has Demonstrated Reliability and Validity: 
Sexual Abuse
Natural Disaster
Immigration Related Trauma
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. Lower socio-economic statusYesYesYesYes
3. Rural populationsYesYesYesYes
4. 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 respondents. 3. Assesses broad range of post-traumatic symptoms beyond PTSD symptoms. 4. Measure has been shown to be reliable and valid in a number of 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. 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 than others (e.g., Spanish) do. 4. The majority of studies have not yet been published or subjected to full peer review.


The reference for the manual is: 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. A PsychInfo literature search (7/05) for “Child Report of Post-traumatic Symptoms" or "CROPS” anywhere and correspondence with the author revealed that the measure has been referenced in 3 peer-reviewed journal articles. 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. Jr. (2003). 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 reprocessing (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: 
Friday, February 14, 2014