Self-reported potentially traumatic life events and symptoms of post-traumatic stress and dissociation.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To investigate single potentially traumatic events and cumulative effects of these events based on the reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress and dissociation. An additional goal was to evaluate the psychometric properties of Life Incidence of Traumatic Events-Student scale (LITE-S). Methods: 400 adolescents from the normative population answered the questionnaire Life Incidence of Traumatic Experiences (LITE-S) together with Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC), Dissociation-Questionnaire-Sweden (Dis-Q-Sweden) and Adolescent-Dissociative Experience Scale (A-DES). The single self-reported traumas, and the cumulative self-reported traumas and their effects on post-traumatic stress disorder and dissociative symptoms scales were examined. The psychometric properties of LITE-S were first investigated through calculating, test-retest reliability by Pearson correlation for the total scale and by Cohen's kappa item per item. Results: Self-reported symptoms were related to both the cumulative traumas and exposure to some single traumas, such as seeing somebody get hurt, having parents destroy things or hurting each other, being whipped or hit, or even being made to carry out some kind of sexual act. Interpersonal events were consistently more strongly related to symptoms across the TSCC clinical scales. Finally, test-retest reliability as found to be for the total scale r=0.76 and kappa item per item ranging between k=0.33 and 0.86. Conclusion: The cumulative effects of potentially traumatic events on adolescents are significant, and interpersonal traumas results in more self-reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress and dissociation than non-interpersonal. LITE has satisfactory psychometric properties concerning reliability. Clinical implications: The results underline the importance in clinical practice of taking into consideration how many potentially traumatic events an adolescent has experienced before, seeking help on specific occasion. This knowledge can help the clinician to understand better the breadth of feelings their client is experiencing and thus can help the clinician better to be able to suggest appropriate treatment.


  • Doris Nilsson
  • Per E Gustafsson
  • Carl Göran Svedin
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychiatry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-26
JournalNordic Journal of Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch