John Briere, PhD
Qualification Level: B
Purpose: Assess trauma exposure and symptoms of posttraumatic stress
Age Range: 18 yrs +
Admin: Individual or group
Time: 20-30 minutes; 15-20 minutes to score
The DAPS focuses on a particular trauma and evaluates its characteristics, immediate impact, whether it has resulted in a diagnosis of PTSD or ASD, and whether there are associated problems, such as suicidality or substance abuse.
Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children
The DAPS is a 104-item, detailed, and comprehensive clinical measure of trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress in individuals ages 18 years and older who have a history of exposure to one or more potentially traumatic events. The instrument assesses peri- and posttraumatic symptoms (e.g., intrusion, avoidance, hyperarousal) and associated features (e.g., dissociative symptoms, substance abuse, suicidality) related to a specific traumatic event and generates a tentative diagnosis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) in considerably less time than is required for a structured diagnostic interview. The diagnosis can then be confirmed by a clinical interview.
The DAPS assesses both current and lifetime history of DSM5 trauma exposure, as well as the severity and clinical significance of an individual's posttraumatic symptoms, including dissociative, cognitive, and emotional responses. The DAPS scales include the three PTSD symptom clusters (Reexperiencing, Avoidance, and Hyperarousal) and three associated features of PTSD: Trauma-Specific Dissociation, Suicidality, and Substance Abuse. Two validity scales identify overreporting and underreporting of psychological symptoms.
The DAPS Posttraumatic Stress symptom scales have higher internal consistency, greater content coverage, and higher diagnostic efficiency (.87) than many current measures of PTSD.
Unlike other diagnostic measures of PTSD, the DAPS was normed on a group of 406 trauma-exposed men and women in the general population. As a result, an individual's DAPS results can be compared (using T scores) to the scores of a large group of men and women with a known trauma history. This facilitates the empirical determination of both severity and clinical importance of the results.
The Professional Manual provides information about the development, administration, scoring, interpretation, and psychometric characteristics of the DAPS. It also provides data from the normative sample of trauma-exposed adults from the general population, as well as from trauma-exposed adults in clinical, community, and university validity samples. The Appendix tables provide raw score to T-score transformations based on the normative sample.