Application of the Chinese Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist to Adolescent Earthquake Survivors in China

By Wang, Ruiming; Su, Jie et al. | Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, April 2012 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Application of the Chinese Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist to Adolescent Earthquake Survivors in China


Wang, Ruiming, Su, Jie, Bi, Xiaoyu, Wei, Yubing, Mo, Lei, You, Yongheng, Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal


The Wenchuan earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter Scale occurred on May 12, 2008 in the Sichuan province of China. It was one of the deadliest and most devastating natural disasters in China and killed at least 68,700 people, including more than 5,000 adolescents. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that develops in some people following exposure to a traumatic event, such as military combat, violent crime, assault, or a natural disaster (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Because adolescence is a period when individuals are coping with significant physical and psychological developmental changes, adolescents are likely to develop PTSD after exposure to traumatic events (Joseph, Brewin, Yule, & Williams, 1993; Lonigan, Shannon, Saylor, Finch, & Sallee, 1994). According to the criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 2000) and the Chinese Classification and Diagnostic Criteria of Mental Disorders (CCMD; Chinese Psychiatry Society, 2001), the main clusters of PTSD symptoms are reexperiencing/intrusion of the traumatic event, avoidance/numbing, and increased hyperarousal. Defining symptoms include trauma-associated dreams and nightmares, efforts to avoid reminders of the stressful experience, and heightened physiologic arousal episodes during the month after the event (Smith, Redd, DuHamel, Vickberg, & Ricketts, 1999).

The PTSD Checklist (PCL; Weathers, Litz, Herman, Huska, & Keane, 1993) and Impact of Event Scale (IES; Horowitz, Wilner, & Alvarez, 1979) are two major tools used to diagnose PTSD. It is difficult to identify and assess PTSD in people in mainland China because the Chinese (Mandarin) version of the PTSD measure is not well-established. Although the IES has been used widely to examine traumatic events, the items included do not have direct reference to the diagnostic criteria in the DSM-IV (Wu & Chan, 2003; Wu, Chan, & Yiu, 2008).

However, the PCL, a 17-item self-report rating scale, matches the diagnostic criteria of the DSM-IV and is, therefore, a more reliable measure and is also more likely to produce results indicating greater validity than the IES. Because it takes only about 5 minutes to administer the PCL, compared to 40 to 60 minutes for diagnostic interviews, such as those used in the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (Foa, Riggs, Dancu, & Rothbaum, 1993; Smith et al., 1999; Wu, Chan, & Yiu, 2008), in our study we used the civilian version (Weathers, Litz, Huska, & Keane, 1994) of the PCL to examine PTSD.

Many researchers have shown that the PCL has satisfactory reliability and validity (Blanchard, Jones-Alexander, Buckley, & Forneris, 1996; Forbes, Creamer, & Biddle, 2001; Keen, Kutter, Niles, & Krinsley, 2008; Lang, Laffaye, Satz, Dresselhaus, & Stein, 2003; Palmieri, Weathers, Difede, & King, 2007). For example, Weathers, Litz, Herman, Huska, and Keane (1993) found that the PCL has a high test-retest reliability (r = 0.9) and validity (kappa coefficient = 0.6) for the diagnosis of PTSD from the structured clinical interview for DSM-III-R (Spitzer, Williams, Gibbon, & First, 1990). However, different models have been used to assess PTSD symptom scores. For example, Cordova, Andrykowski, and Jacobsen (1997) used a three-factor model and King, Leskin, King, and Weathers (1998), Asmundson et al. (2000), and Wu et al. (2008) used a four-factor model.

The focus in the present study was mainly on two areas. The first was exploring risk factors for PTSD among middle-school students who survived the Wenchuan earthquake in China and then evaluating the incidence of PTSD among this group. The second was examining the psychometric properties of the Chinese version of the PCL.

Method

Sample and Procedure

The survey was conducted in July 2008, two months after the Wenchuan earthquake.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Application of the Chinese Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist to Adolescent Earthquake Survivors in China
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?