Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL-5)

The Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL-5) is a 20 item self-report measure that assesses the DSM-5 symptoms of PTSD in adults (18+ years). The PCL-5 has a variety of purposes including:

Monitoring symptom change before and after treatment

Screening individuals for PTSD

Making a provisional diagnosis of PTSD

Each item is scored on a 5 point Likert scale (0 = not at all; 4 = extremely), and the form takes about 5-10 minutes to complete. The PCL-5 is a relatively recent revision of the PTSD checklist (PCL), one of the most widely used self-report measures of PTSD.

Although there is only one version of the symptom list for PCL-5, there are three formats of the checklist available. The first version does not assess Criterion A (refer to DSM-5 on PTSD). This method is appropriate when trauma exposure is measured by some other tool. The second version defines Criterion A, provides examples of stressful events, and asks individuals to identify their worst event. The third version includes the Life Events Checklist for DSM-5 (LEC-5) and a more detailed assessment of Criterion A. Example items on the PCL-5 include:

Feeling distant or cut off from other people

Being “superalert”, watchful or on guard

Psychometric Properties

There is limited literature available assessing the psychometric properties of the recently revised PTSD checklist. Like its predecessor, the available data suggests that the PCL-5 is psychometrically sound, demonstrating high internal consistency (α = .94), and good test-retest reliability (r = .82). It demonstrates strong convergent validity with other measures of PTSD (rs = .85) and adequate discriminant validity, correlating moderately with constructs like Depression (r = .60), and least strongly with unrelated constructs like Mania (r = .31). Additionally, the test (PCL) has been translated for use with French, Spanish, and Chinese populations.

Use & Availability

The checklist and information regarding the scale is available at . Although the test is freely accessible, interpretation of the PCL-5 should only be undertaken by a clinician. Given the short time required to complete the checklist, and its ability to be used as a pre and post measure following an intervention, the checklist is popular in both clinical and research settings.


Ashbaugh, A. R., Houle-Johnson, S., Herbert, C., El-Hage, W., & Brunet, A. (2016). Psychometric Validation of the English and French Versions of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5). PLOS ONE, 11(10), e0161645. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161645

Blevins, C., Weathers, F., Davis, M., Witte, T., & Domino, J. (2015). The Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for DSM‐5 (PCL‐5): Development and Initial Psychometric Evaluation. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 28(6), 489-498. doi:10.1002/jts.22059

PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5) – PTSD: National Center for PTSD. (2016). Retrieved 8 March 2017, from

Weathers, F.W., Litz, B.T., Keane, T.M., Palmieri, P.A., Marx, B.P., & Schnurr, P.P. (2013). The PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5). Scale available from the National Center for PTSD at

Wortmann, J. H., Jordan, A. H., Weathers, F. W., Resick, P. A., Dondanville, K. A., Hall-Clark, B., … Litz, B. T. (2016). Psychometric analysis of the PTSD Checklist-5 (PCL-5) among treatment-seeking military service members. Psychological Assessment, 28(11), 1392–1403. doi:10.1037/pas0000260

School Refusal Assessment Scale Revised (SRAS-R)

The School Refusal Assessment Scale (SRAS) was first constructed by Kearney and Silverman (1993) and then revised in 2002 (Kearney). The scale was created to overcome shortcomings from previous classification systems including an over reliance on clinical judgement rather than empirical evidence leading to a lack of rater reliability, issues with validity and lack of utility in treatment (Kearney & Silverman, 1993). The SRAS was designed to assess the function, rather than the form, of school refusal behaviour and has been used on children aged 6-17 years. The SRAS was constructed based on the authors clinical observations as well as research studies looking at successful treatment targeting specific behaviours relating to school refusal. The revised scale identified four functions of school refusal which included: (a) avoidance of school-related stimuli provoking negative affectivity (e.g., teacher, test), (b) escaping from aversive social or evaluative situations, (c) to get attention from others and (d) to pursue positive tangible reinforcement outside of school (e.g., television, play). The first two are centred around negative reinforcement and the other two around positive reinforcement of school refusal behaviour.

The SRAS-R is a 24-item measure with six items devoted to each function. Each item is presented on a Likert scale ranging from 0-6 with 0 being never and 6 being always. A mean score is calculated for each function and are ranked from highest to lowest. The condition that scores the highest is interpreted as the primary maintaining function of school refusal however the scores on the other conditions are also taken into account when developing a treatment plan. This gives the questionnaire both typological and dimensional properties (Kearney & Silverman, 1993). If two functions are within .25 of one another they are ranked as equal. The SRAS-R consists of a child and parent questionnaire with the wording on items altered slightly for each target audience. This allows scores to be combined from each respondent to create a more complete picture of school refusing. It also allows a clinician to examine differences between respondents and use this information in designing and targeting treatment.

The SRAS was revised to improve psychometric properties, increase score range and to modify the functional model (Kearney, 2002). All items on the parent and child questionnaire had significant test-retest reliability over a 7 to 14-day period. Mean correlations for each function subscale on the parental questionnaire ranged from .61- .78 and from .56- .78 on the child version. All but two items had significant inter-rater reliability on the parent questionnaire with mean correlations for each subscale ranging from .46 to .57.

Factor analysis has identified three main constructs of the scale which include a combination of the first two negative reinforcement functions, attention seeking and tangible reinforcement. The revised version of the scale was shown to have good concurrent validity for each function subscale with the original version of the scale (r range from .65 to .77). The SRAS-R also shows good concurrent validity with the Fear Survey Schedule for Children-Revised and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children for the negative reinforcement functions. Furthermore, diagnosed internalising disorders tend to be more common with negatively reinforced school refusers, separation anxiety disorders are generally more common for attention based school refusal and oppositional defiant and conduct disorder are generally more common for school refusing based on tangible reinforcement (Kearney, 2002). However, comparisons between other measures of internalising and externalising symptoms and the SRAS have shown nonsignificant associations although they were in the direction expected.

Further work needs to see if it is possible to distinguish between function one and two or if they need to be subsumed under a function of negative reinforcement. However, youth normally do score higher in one function or the other. Nevertheless, the SRAS-R is useful for understanding the function of school refusal, help the design of treatment interventions and to see any changes in function over the course of treatment.


Kearney, C. (2002). Identifying the Function of School Refusal Behavior: A Revision of the School Refusal Assessment Scale. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 24(4), 235-245. doi:10.1023/A:1020774932043

Kearney, C., & Silverman, W. K. (1993). Measuring the Function of School Refusal Behavior: The School Refusal Assessment Scale. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 22(1), 85-96. doi:10.1207/s15374424jccp2201_9

Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED)

The Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED) was originally developed in the US as a child self-report (8-18year olds) and parent report instrument to screen children with anxiety disorders (Birmaher et al., 1997). An 85-item questionnaire based on the DSM-IV classification of anxiety disorders was generated. It was administered to 341 outpatient children and adolescents and 300 parents who were referrals to a mood/anxiety disorders clinic. Ages ranged from 9-18 years, 59% were female, 82% were Caucasian and 18% African-American. It was reduced to 38 items using item and factor analyses. The SCARED scales map onto specific DSM-IV-TR anxiety disorders, whereby 4 of the scales map directly onto Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder (PD), Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD), and Social Phobia (SP). The fifth scale is School Anxiety (SA), or School Refusal, while a serious anxiety problem, is not a DSM-IV-TR anxiety disorder (Hale, Crocetti, Raaijmakers, & Meeus, 2011). This is also the case for the DSM-5 (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

The SCARED is a paper and pencil test; 10 mins to administer, can be immediately scored, simply by adding the items for each scale. The interpretation indicating which DSM-IV-TR anxiety disorder(s) is at the bottom of the form itself. There is no additional manual. There is a child and parent version of the same form. There are 3 answer choices to select to describe the child in the last 3 months; 0 = Not true or hardly ever true, 1 = Somewhat true or Sometimes true, and 2 = Very true or Often true. Example items:

Child version – When I get frightened it is hard to breathe.  I don’t like to be away from my family.

Parent version  – When my child feels frightened, it is hard for him/her to breathe. My child doesn’t like to be away from his/her family.

The child and parent SCARED both yielded five factors: somatic/panic, general anxiety, separation anxiety, social phobia and school phobia. For the total score and each of the five factors, both the child and parent SCARED demonstrated good internal consistency (α = .74 to .93), test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficients = .70 to.90), discriminant validity (both between anxiety and other disorders and within anxiety disorders), and moderate parent-child agreement (r = .20 to .47, p < .001, all correlations) (Birmaher et al., 1997).

There were very few age, sex or race differences in both parent’ and children’s responses. In the child report, younger children (aged 9 to 12 years, n = 61) had significantly higher separation anxiety scores than older children (>12 years old, n = 280). However no age differences were found on parent report. The child and parent total anxiety scores, generalized anxiety, separation anxiety, panic, and school phobia factors were significantly higher in females than in males (all comparisons p < .05).

There were no significant race differences in the child SCARED. In the parent SCARED, African-American children had significantly higher scores on separation anxiety factor (3.8 ± 3.3 versus 2.6 ± 3.1, t1.297  = 2.0, p = .05, after Bonferroni correction) than Caucasians.

SCARED was further supported as a reliable and valid screening tool for clinically referred children and adolescents with anxiety disorders (Monga et al., 2000). It was tested against the Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL) and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children (STAIC) to determine divergent and convergent validity. The SCARED correlated significantly better with the CBCL’s internalizing factors than with the externalising factors. Additionally, the parent and child forms of the SCARED correlated significantly with the trait and state subscales of the STAIC. Children with an anxiety disorder scored significantly higher on the SCARED than children with depression only or disruptive disorders only (P < 0.05), demonstrating its discriminant validity.

A meta-analysis of the cross-cultural psychometric properties of the SCARED reported on 25 studies predominately from Europe (Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands) the USA, South America and China. Psychometric properties were robust for the scales related to the symptoms of the DSM-IV-TR anxiety disorders, that females scored significantly higher than males and that age had a moderating effect on males and female score differences. The meta-analysis suggests that the SCARED can be used as a screening instrument for DSM-IV-TR anxiety disorder symptom dimensions for children and adolescents from various countries (Hale et al., 2011).

The SCARED is available at no cost at under tools and assessments, or at under instruments. Intended users are clinicians and psychiatrists in screening 8-18 year olds with anxiety disorders. More recently the test has shown promise as a measure of anxiety in paediatric pain (Jastrowski et al., 2012).


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Birmaher, B., Brent, D. A., Chiappetta, L., Bridge, J., Monga, S., & Baugher, M. (1999). Psychometric properties of the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED): A replication study. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 38(10), 1230–6. doi: 10.1097/00004583-199910000-00011

Birmaher, B., Khetarpal, S., Brent, D., Cully., Balach, L., Kaufman, J., & McKenzie  Neer, S.             (1997). The screen for child anxiety related emotional disorders (SCARED): Scale construction and psychometric characteristics. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,36(4), 545-553. doi: 10.1097/00004583-199704000-00018

Hale, W. W., Crocetti, E., Raaijmakers, Q. A. W., & Meeus, W. H. J. (2011). A meta-analysis of the cross-cultural psychometric properties of the screen for child anxiety related emotional disorders (SCARED). Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52(1), 80-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02285.x

Jastrowski, M. K. E., Evans, J. R., Tran, S. T., Khan, K. A., Weisman, S. J., & Hainsworth, R. (2012). The psychometric properties of the screen for child anxiety related emotional disorders in pediatric chronic pain. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 37(9), 999-1011. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsso69

Monga, S., Birmaher, B., Chiappetta, L., Brent, D., Kaufman., Bridge, J., & Cully, M. (2000). Screen for child anxiety-related emotional disorders (SCARED): Convergent and divergent validity. Depression and Anxiety, 12(2), 85-91. doi: 10.1002/15206394(2000)12:2<85::aid-da4>;2-2



Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI)

The Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI), developed in the USA by Gosling, Rentfrow and Swan (2003) was designed to measure the dimensions of the Five Factor Model (FFM) of personality. Gosling et al. (2003) recognised that time is often a luxury in research and therefore designed a short instrument that would allow for quick administration and interpretation. Thus, the TIPI takes approximately one minute to complete.

Aiming to cover the breadth of the FFM, the items comprising the TIPI were culled from descriptors from existing Big-Five instruments such as the Big Five Inventory (BFI, John & Srivastava, 1999). The TIPI consists of 2 items for each of the 5 domains represented in the FFM. One item contains two desirable descriptors and the other, two undesirable descriptors (E.g. for Extraversion: extraverted, enthusiastic and reserved, quiet). Each of the ten items are rated on a 7-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (disagree strongly) to 7 (agree strongly).

 Gosling et al. (2003) recruited 1813 university students to complete the TIPI and the BFI. Six weeks later a sub-sample of 180 participants completed the tests again.

The TIPI reported low internal consistency (Extraversion, a = .68; Agreeableness, a = .40; Conscientiousness, a = .50; Emotional Stability, a = .73; Openness, a = .45). Gosling et al. (2003) recognised that with only two items per scale internal consistency would be compromised (where multi-item scales bolster internal consistency as several items may overlap in content). Thus researchers did not expect high levels of reliability and instead emphasised validity. The TIPI was tested against the BFI to determine convergent validity. Results revealed substantial significant convergent correlations (E, r = .87; A, r = .70; C, r = .75; ES, r = .81; O, r = .65). When using measures with few items. Wood and Hampson (2005) recommend test-retest procedure be utilised to verify reliability. The TIPI demonstrated adequate six-week test retest reliability (r = .72). Normative data for the TIPI were also reported (E, M  = 4.44; SD = 1.45; A, M = 5.23; SD = 1.11; C, M = 5.40, SD = 1.32; ES, M = 4.83, SD  = 1.42; O, M = 5.38, SD = 1.07).

The TIPI has been translated into a number of languages including Spanish (TIPI-SPA), Catalan (TIPI-CAT; Renau, Oberst, Gosling, Rusinol, & Chmarro, 2013) and German (TIPI – G; Muck, Hell & Gosling, 2007). Cross cultural validation revealed similar results on all three measures to those obtained in the study of the English-language TIPI (Gosling et al., 2003).

The TIPI is freely accessible online (via and can be utilised without permission.

A note from the researchers –

“We hope that this instrument will not be used in place of established multi-item instruments. Instead, we urge that this instrument be used when time and space are in short supply and when only an extremely brief measure of the Big Five will do.” (Gosling et al, 2003, p. 525).


Gosling, S.D., Rentfrow, P.J., & Swann, W.B., Jr. (2003). A very brief measure of the Big Five personality domains. Journal of Research in Personality, 37, 504-528. doi: 10.1016/S0092-6566(03)00046-1

Gosling, S.D., Rentfrow, P.J., & Swann, W.B., Jr. (2003). Ten Item Personality Inventory, accessed at on 06/03/17.

John, O. P., & Srivastava, S. (1999). The Big Five trait taxonomy: History, measurement, and theoretical perspectives. In L. A. Pervin, & O. P. John (Eds.), Handbook of personality: Theory and research (pp.102–138). New York: Guilford Press.

Muck, P.M., Hell, B., & Gosling, S.D. (2007). Construct validation of a short Five Factor Model instrument: A self-peer study on the German adaptation of the Ten-Item Personality Inventory (TIPI-G). European Journal of Personality Assessment, 23, 166-175. doi: 10.1027/1015-5759.23.3.166

Renau, V., Oberst, U., Gosling, S.D., Rusinol, J., & Chamarro, A. (2013). Translation and validation of the Ten-Item Personality Inventory into Spanish and Catalan. Aloma.Revista de Psicologia, Ciencies de l’Educacio I de l’Esport, 31, 85-97.


Inventory of Callous Unemotional Traits (ICU)

The ICU (Frick, 2004) is a 24-item questionnaire that assesses callous and unemotional (CU) traits, a central feature of psychopathy, also known as abnormal affective empathy (Jones et al, 2010). CU traits are defined by lack of empathy, guilt, remorse and emotion (Moran et al, 2009). CU traits have highlighted a distinct subgroup of antisocial youth at risk for severe, aggressive, and stable conduct problems. (Ciucci et al, 2014). Past studies have consistently shown CU traits as positively associated with school behaviour problems, low academic achievement, bullying, and reactive aggression. The ICU has three subscales: callousness, uncaring and unemotional. There are five versions of the scale, relating to age (youth or preschool) and who completes the ICU (self, parent or teacher). The ICU is made up of statements with a 4-point Likert scale, ranging from 0 (Not at all true) to 3 (Definitely True), with higher scores indicating greater CU traits. Example items include statements such as: “I express my feelings openly”, “ I feel bad or guilt when I do something wrong” and “I do not care if I get in trouble”. The ICU was developed in the USA, by Paul J. Frick in 2004 (Department of Psychology, University of New Orleans).

Psychometric properties

Evidence supports the reliability and validity of ICU scores among youth (Kimonis et al, 2014). The reliability and construct validity (i.e. factor structure, correlations with aggression and delinquency) of the ICU have been supported in several different samples using different translations (Essau et al. 2006; Fanti et al. 2009; Kimonis et al. 2008; Roose et al. 2010). Across samples and languages, the best fitting factor structure shows a general callous-unemotional factor and three sub factors: callousness (e.g., “the feelings of others are unimportant to me”), unemotional (e.g., “I hide my feelings from others”), and uncaring (e.g., “I try not to hurt others’ feelings”) (reversed scored item). Cuicci and colleagues (2008) examined the factor structure of a comprehensive measure of CU traits (the ICU; Kimonis et al. 2008). Consistent with past research, the confirmatory factor analyses largely supported the factor structure found in other samples with other translations (Essau et al. 2006; Fanti et al. 2009; Kimonis et al. 2008; Roose et al. 2010). These results, combined with the results from past factor analyses, provide strong support for the structure of the ICU across languages, types of samples, gender, and age. In fact, a recent publication supported this factor structure for parent report on the ICU in a sample as young as ages 3 and 4 (Ezpeleta et al. 2012). Given this consistent support for this factor structure of the ICU and its implications for understanding the structure of CU traits, it is important that research continues to explore the differential associations of the total score and subscales with theoretically and practically important variables.


The ICU is an unpublished rating scale (Frick 2004, Department of Psychology, University of New Orleans ([email protected]). It is available free online:


Ciucci, E., Baroncelli, A., Franchi, M., Golmaryami, F. N., & Frick, P. J. (2014). The association between callous-unemotional traits and behavioral and academic adjustment in children: Further validation of the Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 36(2), 189-200.

Essau, C. A., Sasagawa, S., & Frick, P. J. (2006). Callous-unemotional traits in community sample of adolescents. Assessment, 13, 454 – 469

Fanti, K. A., Frick, P. J., & Georgiou, S. (2009). Linking callous unemotional traits to instrumental and non-instrumental forms of aggression. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 31, 285–298

Frick, P. J. (2004). The Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits. New Orleans, LA: UNO.

Jones, A. P., Happé, F. G., Gilbert, F., Burnett, S., & Viding, E. (2010). Feeling, caring, knowing: different types of empathy deficit in boys with psychopathic tendencies and autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51(11), 1188-1197.

Kimonis, E. R., Fanti, K., Goldweber, A., Marsee, M. A., Frick, P. J., & Cauffman, E. (2014). Callous-unemotional traits in incarcerated adolescents. Psychological Assessment, 26(1), 227.

Kimonis, E. R., Frick, P. J., Skeem, J., Marsee, M. A., Cruise, K., Muñoz, L. C., & Morris, A. S. (2008). Assessing callous-unemotional traits in adolescent offenders: validation of the inventory of callous-unemotional traits. Journal of the International Association of Psychiatry and Law, 31, 241–252.

Moran, P., Rowe, R., Flach, C., Briskman, J., Ford, T., Maughan, B., Scott, S. & Goodman, R. (2009). Predictive value of callous-unemotional traits in a large community sample. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 48(11), 1079-1084.

Roose, A., Bijttebier, P., Decoene, S., Claes, L., & Frick, P. J. (2010). Assessing the affective features of psychopathy in adolescence: A further validation of the inventory of callous and unemotional traits. Assessment, 17, 44 –57


Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT)

The AUDIT is a screening instrument to detect excessive and harmful patterns of alcohol use. It was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in an initiative to develop a reliable and valid measure in identifying alcohol abuse. The AUDIT was developed to be used by General Practitioners and other professionals in the primary health care industry and is easy to use and interpret. It comprises of a 10-item questionnaire appropriate for adolescents and adults of all ages. It can be completed by clients as a self-report, or used in an interview by the practitioner. It takes approximately 2 to 3 minutes to be completed and clients are invited to ask for clarification on any items. The 10 items address three areas of drinking behaviour; Hazardous Alcohol use (items 1,2,3), Dependence symptoms (items 4,5,6) and harmful alcohol use (7,8,9,10).

Two examples of items on the AUDIT questionnaire are;

  1. How often do you have a drink containing alcohol?

(0) Never [Skip to Qs 9-10] (1) Monthly or less (2) 2 to 4 times a month (3) 2 to 3 times a week (4) 4 or more times a week

  1. Have you or someone else been injured as a result of your drinking?

(0) No (2) Yes, but not in the last year (4) Yes, during the last year

To interpret the AUDIT sum each item score to get an overall score which can be interpreted as per the guideline cut off points; 8-15 hazardous, 16-19 harmful and >20 is dependent. The guidelines should be considered tentative and subject to clinical judgement. Important information can be obtained by interpreting which items received the high scores (harmful, hazardous or dependence items).

The AUDIT has been found to have good reliability and consistency with ICD-10 definitions of alcohol dependence and harmful alcohol use (Babor, Higgins-Biddle, Saunders &  Monterio, 2001). Meneses-Gaya et al (2009) systematic review of psychometric properties found a mean Cronbach’s alpha of .80 across 10 studies investigating internal consistency. The AUDIT presented excellent sensitivity and specificity values (Menese-Gaya et al 2009). In the initial comparative study across 6 countries a cut off point of 8 yielded sensitivities in mid .90’s and specificities averaged in the .80’s.

The AUDIT is free to use and does not require specific training to administer, the manual is available on Turning point website Turning point have developed ‘The Adult AOD Screening and Assessment Instrument” Clinical Guide that list instructions and advice for the AUDIT along with other AOD screening tools. The AUDIT is a screening tool to assist to interpret levels of hazards drinking. A clinical interview and other assessments are required for a formal diagnosis.



Menese- Gaya, C., Zuardi, A., Loureiro, S., & Crippa, J. (2009). Alcohol use disorders identification test (AUDIT): An updated systematic review of psychometric properties. Psychology & Neuroscience, 2(2), 83-97 DOI: 10.3922/j.psns.2009.1.12

Heather, N. (2006). WHO collaborative project on identification and management of Alcohol-related problems in primary health care. Retrieved from

Babor, T. F., Higgins-Biddle, J. C., Saunders, J. B., Monterio, M. G. (2001). AUDIT: The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test Guidelines for Use in Primary Care (second edition) Retrieved from