The construction and validation of an equivalent form of the developmental trauma inventory appraisal scale.
Thomson, Tracy Lynne.
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Trauma is unfortunately a common occurrence in children. For some children, the effects can be pervasive and multifaceted, leading to behavioural and psychological disorders which persist into adulthood if left untreated (Collishaw et al., 2007). To prevent this there is a need to provide cost-effective, evidence-based therapy. Cognitive theory asserts that the manner in which trauma is appraised predicts the onset and persistence of PTSD more so than the trauma itself (Barlow, Goldsmith Turow, & Gerhart, 2017; Cromer & Smyth, 2010). Identification of trauma appraisals enables a personalised therapeutic intervention to identify the trauma victim’s specific cognitive appraisals to be developed (Barlow et al., 2017). Many existing measurements of trauma appraisals are limited by a restricted operational definition of trauma, and do not incorporate the full range of trauma-related developmental appraisals (Valjee and Collings, 2016), limiting the effectiveness of the scale. In response, Valjee and Collings (2016) developed a Developmental Trauma Inventory (DTI) Appraisal Scale, a brief screen of developmental trauma appraisals found in children exposed to complex trauma. To track the effectiveness of therapy, and to do further research in support of a cognitive-mediation perspective, an alternate form of the DTI Appraisal Scale was found to be lacking. Employing a quantitative, cross-sectional survey research design, a self-administered questionnaire was completed by a convenience sample of high school learners. To create the new measure appraisals, drawn from a pool of trauma appraisals which were most strongly correlated with items from the original scale, were selected. The new scale was found to have high levels of internal consistency and convergent validity with the original scale. Cross validation of the new scale on a new sample revealed significant levels of internal consistency and high levels of correlation between the two scales using item analysis and convergent validity. This study builds onto the research conducted by Valjee and Collings (2016) to develop a reliable and valid alternate form of the DTI Appraisal Scale.