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This article describes the development and validation of a new measure of trauma-related thoughts and beliefs, the Posttraumatic Cognitions Inventory (PTCI), whose items were derived from clinical observations and current theories of post-trauma psychopathology. The PTCI was administered to 601 volunteers, 392 of whom had experienced a traumatic event and 170 of whom had moderate to severe posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Principal- components analysis yielded 3 factors: Negative Cognitions About Self, Negative Cognitions About the World, and Self-Blame. The 3 factors showed excellent internal consistency and good test-retest reliability; correlated moderately to strongly with measures of PTSD severity, depression, and general anxiety; and discriminated well between traumatized individuals with and without PTSD. The PTCI compared favorably with other measures of trauma- related cognitions, especially in its superior ability to discriminate between traumatized individuals with and without PTSD.

Original publication




Journal article


Psychological Assessment

Publication Date





303 - 314