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BACKGROUND: Many young people are exposed to traumatic events and a significant minority of these individuals will go on to experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Valid and reliable measurement tools for assessing PTSD are essential and can aid screening, clinical diagnosis, treatment planning and outcome monitoring. METHODS: This article outlines the range of instruments available for these aspects of measurement, including assessment of PTSD in very young children, with a focus on those scales with good clinical utility and sound psychometric properties. FINDINGS: This is a particularly challenging time for clinicians working with children and young people with PTSD: all instruments will need to be revised and updated in order to better reflect the recent revisions to the diagnostic criteria for PTSD with the publication of the DSM-5 and no doubt the anticipated ICD-11. Despite this, measurement tools can still play a vital role in assessing PTSD in children and young people.

Original publication




Journal article


Child Adolesc Ment Health

Publication Date





124 - 135


Posttraumatic stress disorder, assessment, diagnosis, screening, trauma