Comparing the Diagnostic Accuracy of Five Instruments for Detecting Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Youth

Dokyoung S. You, Eric A. Youngstrom, Norah C. Feeny, Jennifer Kogos Youngstrom, Robert L. Findling

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to compare diagnostic accuracy of five posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) measures in a large outpatient sample of youths 11–18 years of age. Index tests included a parent report (a rationally derived scale from the Child Behavioral Checklist), a teacher report (the Teacher Report Form), and three youth reports—a PTSD scale from the Youth Self Report (YSR), Child PTSD Symptom Scale, and Child and Adolescent Trauma Survey. Interviews with the youth and caregiver using Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children generated criterion diagnoses of PTSD. Diagnoses were blind to scores on the index tests. Based on consensus diagnoses (N = 458), 10% of youth had PTSD. Area under the curve (AUC) from receiver operating characteristic analyses and multilevel likelihood ratios evaluated test performance. All youth reports (AUCs.67–.73) outperformed the teacher report (AUCs.42–.48) at identifying PTSD. The YSR outperformed the caregiver reports (AUCs.57–.58). Combining tests did not improve prediction of PTSD. The YSR predicted PTSD even after controlling for a self-reported traumatic event, but checklist ratings of traumatic events had no incremental value after controlling for YSR scores. When a youth endorsed few symptoms, the likelihood of the youth having PTSD was low. Very high scores on the YSR were associated with a moderate increase in the likelihood of PTSD diagnosis. The YSR appeared to be a useful diagnostic aid for youth PTSD and could facilitate differential diagnosis of youth PTSD in outpatient settings.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages511-522
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 4 2017

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Self Report
Checklist
Caregivers
Outpatients
Multilevel Analysis
Mood Disorders
ROC Curve
Area Under Curve
Schizophrenia
Consensus
Appointments and Schedules
Differential Diagnosis
Interviews
Wounds and Injuries
Surveys and Questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

Comparing the Diagnostic Accuracy of Five Instruments for Detecting Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Youth. / You, Dokyoung S.; Youngstrom, Eric A.; Feeny, Norah C.; Youngstrom, Jennifer Kogos; Findling, Robert L.

In: Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Vol. 46, No. 4, 04.07.2017, p. 511-522.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

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