The measurement of childhood trauma among male and female soldiers in the U.S. Army.
- PubMed: 8700329
One thousand three hundred sixty-five soldiers from the U.S. Army completed a 30-item version of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) together with four questions on sexual abuse developed for a national survey of U.S. adults. A four-factor solution to the CTQ produced four subscales that were similar to those found in the original study, namely (1) emotional neglect, (2) physical and emotional abuse, (3) sexual abuse, and (4) physical neglect. We found that half of female soldiers reported a childhood history of sexual abuse, compared with one-sixth of male soldiers. Half of both male and female soldiers reported a childhood history of physical abuse. Combined abuse histories were noted in 34% of female and 11% of male soldiers. Abused soldiers reported more psychological symptoms on the Brief Symptom Inventory than nonabused soldiers. The CTQ and screening questions are discussed as possible tools for eliciting histories of abuse from soldiers.