Reliability and validity of the SCL-90-R PTSD subscale.J Interpers Violence. 2008 Sep; 23(9):1162-76.JI
Two studies examined the psychometric properties of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) subscale of the SCL-90-R. Study 1 examined SCL-90-R responses from 2,361 college women to determine whether this subscale can appropriately assess the three dimensions of PTSD. Factor analysis and Cronbach's alpha suggest that this subscale is best conceptualized as a unidimensional index of PTSD symptomatology. Study 2 confirmed these results in a sample of 1,044 college men and women. Findings in the second sample also supported the subscale's validity, as it correlates well with the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale and with trauma frequency and can discriminate between individuals with and without PTSD diagnoses. Results suggest that the SCL-90-R PTSD subscale is a reliable, but unidimensional, measure for screening for distress associated with PTSD. Although there is some support for the usefulness of this scale, especially with women, it should only be considered a general indicator of distress with limited use for men.