Back to top

TSCC - Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children

The TSCC measures severity of posttraumatic stress and related psychological symptomatology (anxiety, depression, anger, dissociation) in children ages 8-16 years who have experienced traumatic events, such as physical or sexual abuse, major loss, or natural disasters. Appropriate for individual or group administration.




Brier, John, Ph.D.

Briere, J. (1996). Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC), Professional Manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

Contact Information: 

Psychological Assessment Resources website: ;

Cost Involved
Domain Assessed: 
Traumatic Stress
Anxiety/Mood (Internalizing Symptoms)
Age Range: 
Measure Type: 
General Assessment
Measure Format: 


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

4-point Likert scale (0=never, 1=sometimes, 2=lots of times, 3=almost all of the time).
Reading to the child is sometimes done, but it is not part of the standardized administration.

Materials Needed: 
Sample Items: 
DomainsScalesSample Items
AngerAngerFeeling mad
AnxietyAnxietyWorrying about things
DepressionDepressionFeeling sad or unhappy
DissociationDissociation, Overt DissociationFeeling like I'm not in my body
FantasyFantasyPretending I'm somewhere else
Sexual Concerns (excluded in TSCC-A)Sexual ConcernsUnable to locate sample items
Information Provided: 
Areas of Concern/Risks
Clinician Friendly Output
Continuous Assessment
Graphs (e.g. of elevated scale)
Raw Scores
Standard Scores


Training to Administer: 
Training to Interpret: 
Prior Experience in Psych Testing/Interpretation

Parallel or Alternate Forms

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

FORMS FOR DIFFERENT AGES There are also the TSCYC for younger children and thet TSI for adults. ALTERED VERSIONS The TSCC-A is an altered form that has 44 items, only 7 critical items, and no sexual concerns scale or references to sexual issues.


Notes on Psychometric Norms: 

T-scores of 65 for all clinical scales except a T-score of 70 for Sexual Concerns Scales

Test-RetestPearson's r0.510.810.81
Internal ConsistencyAlpha0.770.890.83
References for Reliability: 

Briere J. (1996). Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC) professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources. Nilsson D, Wadsby M, Svedin CG. (2008). The psychometric properties of he Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC) in a sample of Swedish children. Child Abuse & Neglect, 32, 627-36.

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

Lanktree, C.B., Gilbert, A.M., Briere, J., Taylor, N., Chen, K., Maida, C.A., & Saltzman, W.R. (2008). Multi-informant assessment of maltreated children: Convergent and discriminant validity of the TSCC and TSCYC. Child Abuse & Neglect, 32, 621-625. Wherry, J. N., Graves, L. E., Rhodes, H. M. (2008). The convergent validity of the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Young Children for a sample of sexually abused outpatients. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 17(1), 38-50.

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

Sadowski, C. M., & Friedrich, W. N. (2000). Psychometric properties of the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC) with psychiatrically hospitalized adolescents. Child Maltreatment, 5, 364-372. Nilsson D, Wadsby M, Svedin CG. The psychometric properties of he Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC) in a sample of Swedish children. Child Abuse & Neglect, 32, 627-36.

Overall Psychometric Limitations: 

Correlations between scales may be influenced by overlap between the PTSD subscale and other subscales.


Translation Quality: 
Language:TranslatedBack TranslatedReliableGood PsychometricsSimilar Factor StructureNorms AvailableMeasure Developed for this Group
1. ChineseYes
2. DutchYes
3. French (Canadian)YesYesYes
4. JapaneseYes
5. LatvianYes
6. SlovenianYes
7. SpanishYesYes
8. SwedishYes

Population Information

Population Used for Measure Development: 

Demographics information for the TSCC standardization sample (n=3,008) is as follows: 1. Gender: 47% male; 53% female 2. Age male: 8-10 (4%), 11-12 (13%), 13-14 (15%), 15-16 (68%) female: 8-12 (17%), 13-16 (83%) 3. Race: 44% Caucasian, 27% Black, 22% Hispanic, 2% Asian, 4% Other

For Specific Population: 
Complex Trauma
Populations with which Measure Has Demonstrated Reliability and Validity: 
Physical Abuse
Sexual Abuse
Medical Trauma
Domestic Violence
Community Violence
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 statusYesYes
2. Rural Populations YesYes
3. Delinquent YouthYes
4. Homeless YouthYes

Pros & Cons/References


1. “The TSCC is simply worded and easy to administer. It is particularly useful with children who have experienced multiple types of abuse and appears to be sensitive to the effects of therapy for abused children. It does not orient respondents to their abuse experiences and is appropriate for children who have not disclosed abuse, as well as those who have” (Feindler et al., 2003, pp. 210-211). 2. “Its large normative base aids interpretation of scores obtained with clinical samples. The validity indicators help to better understand youths with atypical response patterns. The scale is very suitable for youths, and it has good utility because of its ease of use and applicability of the obtained information” (Ohan, Myers, & Collett, 2002, p. 1408).


1. Possible overlap between the PTSD subscale and other subscales. 2. “The Posttraumatic Stress subscale contains mostly intrusion symptoms, and therefore does not comprehensively assess PTSD symptoms. In addition, caution is warranted regarding interpretation if the user’s intention is to assess the DSM-IV conceptualization of PTSD, as the TSCC’s items do not fully overlap with DSM-IV symptom clusters for PTSD or dissociative disorders. Rather, the TSCC should be used to examine symptom profiles and symptom course following trauma.” (Ohan, Myers, & Collett, 2002, p. 1408). 3. The TSCC is highly face valid. 4. Clinicians have reported that some highly traumatized children score very low on this measure. Given that the items are face valid, it may be that these children are denying symptoms, attempting to portray themselves in a positive light, or may be unable to report on their symptom states.

Author Comments: 

Author and publisher provided feedback, which was integrated into the review.


A PsychInfo search (5/05) for “Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children" or "TSCC” AND “Briere” anywhere revealed that the TSCC has been referenced in 94 peer-reviewed journal articles. Note: The word Briere was added on the chance that the terms “Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children” were overly inclusive. Below is a sampling of these references: 1. Atlas, J.A., & Ingram, D.M. (1998). Betrayal trauma in adolescent inpatients. Psychological Reports, 83, 914-915. 2. Crouch, J.L., Smith, D.W., & Ezzell, C.E. (1999). Measuring reactions to sexual trauma among children: Comparing the Children's Impact of Traumatic Events Scale and the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children. Child Maltreatment: Journal of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, 4, 255-263. 3. Elliott, D.M., & Briere, J. (1994). Forensic sexual abuse evaluations of older children: Disclosures and symptomatology. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 12, 261-277. 4. Feindler, E.L, Rathus, J.H., & Silver, L.B. (2003). Assessment of Family Violence: A Handbook for Researchers and Practioners. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 5. Friedrich, W.N., Jaworski, T.M., Huxsahl, S.E., & Bengtson, B.S. (1997). Dissociative and sexual behaviors in children and adolescents with sexual abuse and psychiatric histories. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 12, 155-171. 6. Lanktree, C.B., & Briere, J. (1995). Outcome of therapy for sexually abused children: A repeated measures study. Child Abuse and Neglect, 19, 1145-1155. 7. Nader, K.O. (1997). Assessing traumatic experiences in children. In J.P. Wilson & T.M. Keane (Eds.). Assessing psychological trauma and PTSD (pp. 291-348). New York: Guilford Press. 8. Ohan, J.L., Myers, K., & Collett, B.R. (2002). Ten-year review of rating scales, IV: Scales assessing trauma and its effects. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 41:12, 1401-1422. 9. Sadowski, C.M., & Friedrich, W.N. (2000). Psychometric properties of the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC) with psychiatrically hospitalized adolescents. Child Maltreatment, 5, 364-372. 10. Singer, M.I., Anglen, T.M., Song, L.Y., & Lunghofer, L. (1995). Adolescents’ exposure to violence and associated symptoms of psychological trauma. Journal of American Medical Association, 273(6), 477-482. 11. Zlotnick, C., Shea, M.T., Begin, A., Pearlstein, T., Simpson, E., & Costello, E. (1996). The validation of the Trauma Symptom Checklist-40 (TSC-40) in a sample of inpatients. Child Abuse and Neglect, 20, 503-510.

Developer of Review: 
Richard J. DioGuardi, Ph.D. & Alicia Gilbert, Ph.D.
Editor of Review: 
Nicole Taylor, Ph.D.; Robyn Igelman, M.A., Madhur Kulkarni, M.S.,Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D.