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CSDC-SF - Child Stress Disorders Checklist - Screening Form

The Child Stress Disorders Checklist-Screening Form (CSDCSF) is a 4-item observer report measure designed for use as a screening instrument to identify children at risk for having or developing Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) and/or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

It is based on the Child Stress Disorders Checklist (also reviewed in this database). The measure can be completed by multiple types of observers who may have contact with a child including caregivers, nurses, teachers, and social service workers. The measure yields a single score.




Glenn Saxe, M.D.

Saxe, G.N., & Bosquet, M. (2004). Child Stress Disorders Checklist-Screening Form (CSDC-SF) (v. 1.0-3/04). National Child Traumatic Stress Network and Boston University School of Medicine:

Contact Information: 
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): 
1 month (scale instructions are now or within the past month)
Response Format: 

0=not true, 1=somewhat or sometimes true, 2=very true or often true

Materials Needed: 
Sample Items: 
Sample Items
Total Child gets upset if reminded of the event.
Information Provided: 
Areas of Concern/Risks
Continuous Assessment
Raw Scores


Training to Administer: 
Prior Experience in Psych Testing/Interpretation

Parallel or Alternate Forms

Altered Version Forms: 
Alternative Forms Description: 

The measure is based on the Child Stress Disorders Checklist, the full 30-item version (Saxe, 2001), which is also reviewed in this database.


Clinical Cutoffs: 
Clinical Cutoffs Description: 

It is recommeded that children with a score of 1 or more be referred for a more comprehensive assessment (Bosquet et al., 2004).

Test-RetestAcceptablePearson correlation0.770.770.77
Internal ConsistencyAcceptableCronbach's Alpha0.840.840.84
Inter-raterAcceptablePearson correlation0.490.490.49
Parallel/Alternate Forms
References for Reliability: 

Data reported in the above table are summarized from Bosquet et al. (2004).

Conducted with a subsample of 45 parents (r=.77).

Total score (.84)

(Note: the measure was administered to parents and nurses. It appears parent and nurse
reports were combined for internal consistency reliability analyses.)

In another analysis with another sample, involving only parents, internal consistency was
reported as alpha=.76.

Parents x Nurses: Total (.49)

Content Validity Evaluated: 
References for Content Validity: 

The authors report that the CSDC-SF was developed from the full CSDC using methods for scale development. No other information was provided regarding content validity.

Construct Validity Evaluated: 
Construct Validity: 
Validity TypeNot knownNot foundNonclincal SamplesClinical SamplesDiverse Samples
Sensitive to Change
Intervention Effects
Longitudinal/Maturation Effects
Sensitive to Theoretically Distinct Groups
Factorial Validity
References for Construct Validity: 

Bosquet et al. (2004) examined the psychometric properties of the CSDC-SF with children who experienced burns and motor vehicle accidents (see
"Population Used to Develop Measure" for descriptions of the samples involved [samples 1 & 2]).

1. For parent report, significant correlations were found between the CSDC-SF and the Child Behavior Checklist PTSD Scale (CBCL-PTSD): r=.38, p<.001
Child Dissociation Checklist (CDC): r=.38, p<.001 Child PTSD Reaction Index (CPTSD-RI): r=.28 p<.01; r=.35, p<.05 They were not found for the Diagnostic Interview for Children and Adolescents (DICA): r=.04. Discriminative validity was shown by non-significant correlations with the CBCL Thought Problems and CBCL Delinquency Scales (r=.13 for both).

2. For nurse report, significant correlations were also found between the CSDCSF and the CBCL-PTSD (r=.32, p<.05), CDC (r=.35, p<.05), and DICA (r=.32, p<.05). They were not found for the CPTSD-RI. Discriminative validity was shown by non-significant correlations with the CBCL Thought Problems and CBCL Delinquency Scales (r=.11 and .12, respectively).

Criterion Validity: 
Not KnownNot FoundNonclinical SamplesClinical SamplesDiverse Samples
Predictive Validity:YesYes
Postdictive Validity:
References for Criterion Validity: 

From Bosquet et al. (2004):
1. Parents’ reports on the CSDC-SF were related to CPTSD-RI, CBCL-PTSD, and CDC scores 3 months later. They were also related to child and parent
report on the DICA 3 months later and to Child DICA scores 6 months later.

2. Nurses’ reports on the CSDC-SF were related to parent and child DICA 3 months later (r=.49, p<.01 and r=.43, p<.05, respectively).

3. In another sample of 166 children with motor vehicle accidents, parents’ scores on the CSDC-SF were related to CAPS-CA scores assessed 3-13
months postinjury (r=.38, p<.001). Children who met full or partial PTSD at follow-up were also found to have greater CSDC-SF scores.

Overall Psychometric Limitations: 

Initial development data indicates adequate reliability and validity. Further validation with broader samples of children would be useful including use with other trauma populations and diverse samples. In addition, data regarding the measure’s ability to detect change due to treatment are needed.



Population Information

Population Used for Measure Development: 

Psychometrics were examined with three subsamples (Bosquet, Saxe, & Kassam-Adams, 2004):
1. Burn victims (n=49): Children were aged 6-17 (M=11.1, SD=3.3); 60% male, 40% female; 70% White; 15%
African American, 10% Latino.
2. Acute injury Boston Medical Center (e.g., motor vehicle assault; n=43): Children aged 7-18 (M=12.9, SD=3.6); 70% male, 30% female; 42% African American, 33% Caucasian, and 26% Latino.
3. Acute motor vehicle injury from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (n=166): Children aged 8-17 (M=11.1, SD=2.5); 77% male, 23% female; 49% African American, 46% Caucasian, 2% Latino.

Populations with which Measure Has Demonstrated Reliability and Validity: 
Medical Trauma

Pros & Cons/References


1. The measure is unique in screening for Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder using only 4 items.
2. The measure is based on DSM-IV criteria for Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
3. Preliminary psychometrics appear to be promising in terms of the measure's ability to predict future dysfunction.
4. The measure is free and easily available.


1. Psychometrics have been examined through only one study presented as a poster. As of 8/05, there were no published studies.
2. The measure has yet to be examined in terms of ability to detect change due to treatment and relationship to diagnostic classifications (Sensitivity and Specificity).
3. The authors suggest the measure is appropriate for children aged 2-18, given that this is the age range for the full CSDC. However, the measure may not be appropriate for younger children and has not been examined with children under age 6.

THIS IS NOT A CON, JUST INFORMATION: For many of the items, the wording refers to “the event,” suggesting that the measure was not designed for a chronic or multiply traumatized population. It was designed to screen for ASD and PTSD symptoms following an event.

Author Comments: 

The author provided comments on the review, which were integrated.


A PsychInfo search for "Child Stress Disorders Checklist-Screening Form" or "CSDC-SF" anywhere and consultation with the author revealed that as of 8/05 the measure has not been referenced in any peer-reviewed journal articles.

Note: The full CSDC has been referenced in 3 articles.

Developer of Review: 
Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D.
Editor of Review: 
Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D.
Last Updated: 
Friday, February 14, 2014