Childhood Trauma Questionnaire – Short Form

The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire – Short Form includes 28 items, 25 clinical and 3 validity, measuring an individual’s experiences of child abuse and neglect, retrospectively. This questionnaire is a shortened version of the 70-item Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (Bernstein, 1997). The clinical items are separated into five subscales with five items each: emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, and emotional and physical neglect. The validity items detect the underreporting of maltreatment.


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


Emotional abuse:

1.People in my family called me things like ‘‘stupid,’’ ‘‘lazy,’’ or ‘‘ugly.’’
2.I thought that my parents wished I had never been born.
3.I felt that someone in my family hated me.
4.People in my family said hurtful or insulting things to me.
5.I believe I was emotionally abused.

Physical abuse:

6.I got hit so hard by someone in my family that 7.I had to see a doctor or go to the hospital.
7.People in my family hit me so hard that it left me with bruises or marks.
8.I was punished with a belt, a board, a cord, or some other hard object.
9.I believe that I was physically abused.
10.I got hit or beaten so badly that it was noticed by someone like a teacher, neighbour, or doctor.

Sexual abuse:

11.Someone tried to touch me in a sexual way, or tried to make me touch them.
12.Someone threatened to hurt me or tell lies about me unless I did something sexual with them.
13.Someone tried to make me do sexual things or watch sexual things.
14.Someone molested me.
15.I believe that I was sexually abused.

Emotional neglect:

16.There was someone in my family who helped me feel that I was important or special.
17.I felt loved.
18.People in my family looked out for each other.
19.People in my family felt close to each other.
20.My family was a source of strength and support.

Physical neglect:

21.I didn’t have enough to eat.
22.I knew that there was someone to take care of me and protect me.
23.My parents were too drunk or high to take care of the family.
24.I had to wear dirty clothes.
25.There was someone to take me to the doctor if I needed it.
26.There was nothing I wanted to change about my family.
27.I had the perfect childhood.
28.I had the best family in the world.

Response Options:
never true - 1
rarely true - 2
sometimes true - 3
often true- 4
very often true - 5

Scoring Procedures

Not Available

Original Citation

Bernstein, D. P., Stein, J. A., Newcomb, M. D., Walker, E., Pogge, D., Ahluvalia, T., ... & Zule, W. (2003). Development and validation of a brief screening version of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. Child abuse & neglect, 27(2), 169-190.

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