The structured trauma-related experiences and symptoms screener (stress): Psychometric properties with justice-involved youth

Spencer Cruz-Katz, Fordham University

Abstract

This study utilized confirmatory factor analysis to identify the underlying factor structure of a trauma-screening tool (Structured Trauma-related Experiences and Symptoms Screener (STRESS) in a sample of justice-involved youth. The sample was comprised of 384 adolescents, between the ages of 12 and 18, admitted to one of two juvenile detention centers (Bridgeport Juvenile Detention Center [BJDC], Hartford Juvenile Detention Center [HJDC]) in the State of Connecticut between June 1, 2015, and September 1, 2015. Adolescents in the current sample had been charged with a range of offenses, from misdemeanor to felonies, as well as technical violations of probation. The study also addressed associations found in the literature between traumatic event exposures and PTSD with various externalizing and internalizing disorders as well as with an increased risk to commit delinquent acts. Findings provided limited support for study hypotheses. No single factor analytic model met accepted benchmarks for model fit with a two-factor model being selected as the most parsimonious. Empirically identified symptom clusters correlated with measures of externalizing and internalizing mental health disorders. However, these same factors did not predict lifetime or past 12-month juvenile court referrals. These findings raise concerns about the DSM-5 four-factor model representing the construct of trauma among justice-involved youth and whether the STRESS should be scored consistent with the DSM-5 model. Replication and cross-validation research is needed before drawing firm conclusions about the psychometric properties of the STRESS and use as a trauma screening measure in justice-involved youth. ^

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Cruz-Katz, Spencer, "The structured trauma-related experiences and symptoms screener (stress): Psychometric properties with justice-involved youth" (2016). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10182822.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI10182822

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