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Psychometrics of the PTSD and depression screener for bereaved youth

Journal title
Death studies
Publication year
Brown, E. J.; Goodman, R. F.; Ritholtz, S. F.; Swiecicki, C. C.

Interventions for bereaved children and families range from supportive counseling, designed to promote social connectedness and expression of feelings and thoughts about the deceased, to intensive trauma/grief-specific therapy, designed to ameliorate symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. That said, professionals have few brief assessment instruments to match response and functioning to appropriate interventions. To expedite the screening and referral process for bereaved families, Brown, Goodman, and Swiecicki ( 2008 ) developed the PTSD and Depression Screener for Bereaved Youth, a 19-item measure of bereavement-related history and symptoms of PTSD and depression. The current study is a psychometric evaluation of the Screener for Bereaved Youth. Data were collected from 284 bereaved children, 6-17 years of age (M = 12.4; SD = 2.9). A factor analysis revealed distinct subscales for PTSD (8 items) and Depression (4 items). The PTSD and Depression subscales showed both concurrent and discriminant validity. Endorsement of four items on either subscale was associated with meeting full criteria on more extensive measures of PTSD and depression. These findings are discussed with specific consideration to the multiple systems in which the measure could be used and applications to clinical services.

Research abstracts