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PT-SIC - Post Traumatic Symptom Inventory for Children

The PT-SIC is a self-report measure of PTSD symptoms for children aged 4-8. It assesses the DSM-IV criteria for the diagnosis of PTSD. The language is simple, to allow young children to respond to the questions in an interview format. The measure includes several validity questions to ensure that the child understands how to respond and endorses everyday complaints.





Eisen, M. (1997). The Development and Validation of a New Measure of PTSD for Young Children. Unpublished Manuscript.

Contact Information: 
Domain Assessed: 
Trauma Exposure/Reminders
Traumatic Stress
Age Range: 
Measure Type: 
Measure Format: 


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

Child answers Yes or No (If Yes, specify whether it's a real lot, like almost every day, or just sometimes).

Materials Needed: 
Sample Items: 
DomainsScaleSample Items
PTSD-Related Symptomatology (child)Criteria A: Trauma Exposure Do you ever hear gun shots around your neighborhood? Did you ever see a car crash or a big fire?
Criteria B: ReexperiencingSome children think about really bad things that happened to them. Do you think about really bad things that happened to you? Do you think about these bad things a whole lot lik
Criteria C : AvoidanceSome children can’t remember bad or scary things. Is it sometimes hard for you to remember bad or scary things?
Criteria D : HyperarousalSome children can’t fall asleep because they are thinking about bad or scary things that happened. Is it ever hard for you to sleep because you’re thinking about really bad or scary things?
Information Provided: 
Areas of Concern/Risks
Continuous Assessment
Diagnostic Info DSM IV
Dichotomous Assessment
Raw Scores


Training to Administer: 
Training by Experienced Clinician (4+ hours)
Training to Interpret: 
Training by Experienced Clinician (less than 4 hours)

Parallel or Alternate Forms

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


Clinical Cutoffs: 
Clinical Cutoffs Description: 

Score 2+ on a symptom indicates child meets criteria for symptom. DSM-IV PTSD diagnosed by totaling symptoms in each category (B,C,D) and determining if required number of symptoms in each category are met for PTSD diagnosis.

Test-Retest-# days: 14Acceptabler0.
Internal ConsistencyCronbach's alpha
Inter-raterNot known
Parallel/Alternate FormsNot known
References for Content Validity: 

A working group of clinicians and graduate students assessed an initial pool of 130 items that were designed to assess the 17 criteria for PTSD. Following their review a pool of 101 items remained. Fourteen clinicians (seven licensed psychologists and seven advanced graduate students) who specialized in working with traumatized children were asked to rate how well each item fit the symptom criteria it was matched to on a 1-4 scale (4=excellent, 3=good fit, 2=average fit, 1=poor fit). Items with an average score of 2.7 or higher were the only ones retained. The instrument with 81 items was then administered to 70 maltreated children. Afterward, 51 questions were dropped from the measure due to children's inability to understand and reliably answer each question. The remaining 30 items were sent out to several internationally recognized experts on trauma for commentary. Wording revisions were made to these 30 items based on this feedback, resulting in the final 30 items. Consistent with DSM-IV criteria for PTSD.

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: 

TSCC (r=.66), Child Dissociate Checklist and the Children's Perceptual Alteration Scale (r=.38). Also measure does show evidence of factorial validity. It has two main factors: Reexperiencing (alpha=.74) and Fear and Hyperarousal (alpha=70).

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

Psychometrics were collected using a sample of children aged 4-17. It is unclear how many young children (aged 4-8) were sampled. Since the measure was developed specifically for the young age range, more data and psychometric information is need with this age group.


Translation Quality: 

Population Information

Population Used for Measure Development: 

1. 70 Maltreated children were interviewed in the item selection phase of measure development. No ethnicity, SES, region/location/city, education level, or age range of these children were provided. Abuse was physical or sexual abuse, having their life threatened, hearing gunshots, or being in a serious accident. 2. 400 children aged 4-17 were screened. 220 children aged 4-17 were interviewed using the PT-SIC as part of an assessment for allegations of abuse and neglect. These 220 endorsed a potentially traumatic event and were administered the full PT-SIC. Children were from Mt. Sinai Hospital's Under the Rainbow Program in Chicago, Illinois. No ethnicity, SES, or education level for these children was provided.

Populations with which Measure Has Demonstrated Reliability and Validity: 
Use with Diverse Populations: 
Population Type: 123456

Pros & Cons/References


1. One of the few measures developed to directly interview young children about PTSD symptoms.


1. Some of the language still appears somewhat complex for young children. 2. There are limited psychometric data available. 3. Not widely used or shown valid among different cultures. No translations available.


A PsychInfo search (6/05) for “Post Traumatic Symptom Inventory for Children” or “PT-SIC” anywhere revealed that the measure has been referenced in 0 peer-reviewed journal articles.

Developer of Review: 
Carla Stover, Ph.D.
Editor of Review: 
Madhur Kulkarni, M.S., Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D.
Last Updated: 
Monday, January 20, 2014