A Perfect Childhood? Clinical Correlates of Minimization and Denial on the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire

Kai MacDonald, Michael L. Thomas, Tina M. MacDonald, Andres F Sciolla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Childhood trauma has pervasive and enduring effects on myriad health outcomes, and the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) is a widely used screening tool. To assess recall and reporting biases, the CTQ includes a Minimization/Denial (MD) Scale, although this scale is typically omitted or not reported on. As this practice is not supported by empirical data, we sought to examine the clinical correlates of the CTQ MD Scale, as well as its function as a response bias index (i.e., its moderation effects). We examined correlations between the MD Scale and attachment style, temperament, personality, depression, and clinical diagnoses in a group of 200 adult psychiatric outpatients. Regression analyses were performed to assess the impact of MD on the relationships between the CTQ and clinical variables. Twenty percent of our sample met MD criteria. When patients were grouped as MD-positive versus MD-negative, significant between-group differences were found on several clinical measures. MD status, however, did not significantly moderate the relationships between the CTQ and clinical variables. This is one of the first clinically focused examinations of the CTQ’s MD Scale. Although the MD Scale was associated with several clinical variables, it did not significantly moderate the relationship between the CTQ and clinical variables. These findings, therefore, call into question the value of the MD Scale as a response bias index, although they should be replicated in larger studies before the currently ubiquitous practice of ignoring it can be considered evidence-based.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)988-1009
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume30
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 22 2015

Keywords

  • attachment style
  • childhood trauma questionnaire
  • CTQ
  • denial
  • minimization
  • personality disorders
  • repression
  • temperament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A Perfect Childhood? Clinical Correlates of Minimization and Denial on the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this