Minimization of childhood maltreatment is common and consequential: Results from a large, multinational sample using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire

Kai MacDonald, Michael L. Thomas, Andres F Sciolla, Beacher Schneider, Katherine Pappas, Gijs Bleijenberg, Martin Bohus, Bradley Bekh, Linda Carpenter, Alan Carr, Udo Dannlowski, Martin Dorahy, Claudia Fahlke, Ricky Finzi-Dottan, Tobi Karu, Arne Gerdner, Heide Glaesmer, Hans Jörgen Grabe, Marianne Heins, Dianna T. KennyDaeho Kim, Hans Knoop, Jill Lobbestael, Christine Lochner, Grethe Lauritzen, Edle Ravndal, Shelley Riggs, Vedat Sar, Ingo Schäfer, Nicole Schlosser, Melanie L. Schwandt, Murray B. Stein, Claudia Subic-Wrana, Mark Vogel, Katja Wingenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Childhood maltreatment has diverse, lifelong impact on morbidity and mortality. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) is one of the most commonly used scales to assess and quantify these experiences and their impact. Curiously, despite very widespread use of the CTQ, scores on its Minimization-Denial (MD) subscale-originally designed to assess a positive response bias-are rarely reported. Hence, little is known about this measure. If response biases are either common or consequential, current practices of ignoring the MD scale deserve revision. Therewith, we designed a study to investigate 3 aspects of minimization, as defined by the CTQ's MD scale: 1) its prevalence; 2) its latent structure; and finally 3) whether minimization moderates the CTQ's discriminative validity in terms of distinguishing between psychiatric patients and community volunteers. Archival, item-level CTQ data from 24 multinational samples were combined for a total of 19,652 participants. Analyses indicated: 1) minimization is common; 2) minimization functions as a continuous construct; and 3) high MD scores attenuate the ability of the CTQ to distinguish between psychiatric patients and community volunteers. Overall, results suggest that a minimizing response bias-as detected by the MD subscale-has a small but significant moderating effect on the CTQ's discriminative validity. Results also may suggest that some prior analyses of maltreatment rates or the effects of early maltreatment that have used the CTQ may have underestimated its incidence and impact. We caution researchers and clinicians about the widespread practice of using the CTQ without the MD or collecting MD data but failing to assess and control for its effects on outcomes or dependent variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0146058
JournalPLoS One
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Fingerprint

childhood
questionnaires
Wounds and Injuries
sampling
Psychiatry
Volunteers
volunteers
Surveys and Questionnaires
morbidity
Research Personnel
Morbidity
researchers
Mortality
Incidence
incidence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Minimization of childhood maltreatment is common and consequential : Results from a large, multinational sample using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. / MacDonald, Kai; Thomas, Michael L.; Sciolla, Andres F; Schneider, Beacher; Pappas, Katherine; Bleijenberg, Gijs; Bohus, Martin; Bekh, Bradley; Carpenter, Linda; Carr, Alan; Dannlowski, Udo; Dorahy, Martin; Fahlke, Claudia; Finzi-Dottan, Ricky; Karu, Tobi; Gerdner, Arne; Glaesmer, Heide; Grabe, Hans Jörgen; Heins, Marianne; Kenny, Dianna T.; Kim, Daeho; Knoop, Hans; Lobbestael, Jill; Lochner, Christine; Lauritzen, Grethe; Ravndal, Edle; Riggs, Shelley; Sar, Vedat; Schäfer, Ingo; Schlosser, Nicole; Schwandt, Melanie L.; Stein, Murray B.; Subic-Wrana, Claudia; Vogel, Mark; Wingenfeld, Katja.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 11, No. 1, e0146058, 01.01.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

MacDonald, K, Thomas, ML, Sciolla, AF, Schneider, B, Pappas, K, Bleijenberg, G, Bohus, M, Bekh, B, Carpenter, L, Carr, A, Dannlowski, U, Dorahy, M, Fahlke, C, Finzi-Dottan, R, Karu, T, Gerdner, A, Glaesmer, H, Grabe, HJ, Heins, M, Kenny, DT, Kim, D, Knoop, H, Lobbestael, J, Lochner, C, Lauritzen, G, Ravndal, E, Riggs, S, Sar, V, Schäfer, I, Schlosser, N, Schwandt, ML, Stein, MB, Subic-Wrana, C, Vogel, M & Wingenfeld, K 2016, 'Minimization of childhood maltreatment is common and consequential: Results from a large, multinational sample using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire', PLoS One, vol. 11, no. 1, e0146058. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0146058
MacDonald, Kai ; Thomas, Michael L. ; Sciolla, Andres F ; Schneider, Beacher ; Pappas, Katherine ; Bleijenberg, Gijs ; Bohus, Martin ; Bekh, Bradley ; Carpenter, Linda ; Carr, Alan ; Dannlowski, Udo ; Dorahy, Martin ; Fahlke, Claudia ; Finzi-Dottan, Ricky ; Karu, Tobi ; Gerdner, Arne ; Glaesmer, Heide ; Grabe, Hans Jörgen ; Heins, Marianne ; Kenny, Dianna T. ; Kim, Daeho ; Knoop, Hans ; Lobbestael, Jill ; Lochner, Christine ; Lauritzen, Grethe ; Ravndal, Edle ; Riggs, Shelley ; Sar, Vedat ; Schäfer, Ingo ; Schlosser, Nicole ; Schwandt, Melanie L. ; Stein, Murray B. ; Subic-Wrana, Claudia ; Vogel, Mark ; Wingenfeld, Katja. / Minimization of childhood maltreatment is common and consequential : Results from a large, multinational sample using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. In: PLoS One. 2016 ; Vol. 11, No. 1.
@article{e13d2b69d1684775a0c93dd684825799,
title = "Minimization of childhood maltreatment is common and consequential: Results from a large, multinational sample using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire",
abstract = "Childhood maltreatment has diverse, lifelong impact on morbidity and mortality. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) is one of the most commonly used scales to assess and quantify these experiences and their impact. Curiously, despite very widespread use of the CTQ, scores on its Minimization-Denial (MD) subscale-originally designed to assess a positive response bias-are rarely reported. Hence, little is known about this measure. If response biases are either common or consequential, current practices of ignoring the MD scale deserve revision. Therewith, we designed a study to investigate 3 aspects of minimization, as defined by the CTQ's MD scale: 1) its prevalence; 2) its latent structure; and finally 3) whether minimization moderates the CTQ's discriminative validity in terms of distinguishing between psychiatric patients and community volunteers. Archival, item-level CTQ data from 24 multinational samples were combined for a total of 19,652 participants. Analyses indicated: 1) minimization is common; 2) minimization functions as a continuous construct; and 3) high MD scores attenuate the ability of the CTQ to distinguish between psychiatric patients and community volunteers. Overall, results suggest that a minimizing response bias-as detected by the MD subscale-has a small but significant moderating effect on the CTQ's discriminative validity. Results also may suggest that some prior analyses of maltreatment rates or the effects of early maltreatment that have used the CTQ may have underestimated its incidence and impact. We caution researchers and clinicians about the widespread practice of using the CTQ without the MD or collecting MD data but failing to assess and control for its effects on outcomes or dependent variables.",
author = "Kai MacDonald and Thomas, {Michael L.} and Sciolla, {Andres F} and Beacher Schneider and Katherine Pappas and Gijs Bleijenberg and Martin Bohus and Bradley Bekh and Linda Carpenter and Alan Carr and Udo Dannlowski and Martin Dorahy and Claudia Fahlke and Ricky Finzi-Dottan and Tobi Karu and Arne Gerdner and Heide Glaesmer and Grabe, {Hans J{\"o}rgen} and Marianne Heins and Kenny, {Dianna T.} and Daeho Kim and Hans Knoop and Jill Lobbestael and Christine Lochner and Grethe Lauritzen and Edle Ravndal and Shelley Riggs and Vedat Sar and Ingo Sch{\"a}fer and Nicole Schlosser and Schwandt, {Melanie L.} and Stein, {Murray B.} and Claudia Subic-Wrana and Mark Vogel and Katja Wingenfeld",
year = "2016",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1371/journal.pone.0146058",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "11",
journal = "PLoS One",
issn = "1932-6203",
publisher = "Public Library of Science",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Minimization of childhood maltreatment is common and consequential

T2 - Results from a large, multinational sample using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire

AU - MacDonald, Kai

AU - Thomas, Michael L.

AU - Sciolla, Andres F

AU - Schneider, Beacher

AU - Pappas, Katherine

AU - Bleijenberg, Gijs

AU - Bohus, Martin

AU - Bekh, Bradley

AU - Carpenter, Linda

AU - Carr, Alan

AU - Dannlowski, Udo

AU - Dorahy, Martin

AU - Fahlke, Claudia

AU - Finzi-Dottan, Ricky

AU - Karu, Tobi

AU - Gerdner, Arne

AU - Glaesmer, Heide

AU - Grabe, Hans Jörgen

AU - Heins, Marianne

AU - Kenny, Dianna T.

AU - Kim, Daeho

AU - Knoop, Hans

AU - Lobbestael, Jill

AU - Lochner, Christine

AU - Lauritzen, Grethe

AU - Ravndal, Edle

AU - Riggs, Shelley

AU - Sar, Vedat

AU - Schäfer, Ingo

AU - Schlosser, Nicole

AU - Schwandt, Melanie L.

AU - Stein, Murray B.

AU - Subic-Wrana, Claudia

AU - Vogel, Mark

AU - Wingenfeld, Katja

PY - 2016/1/1

Y1 - 2016/1/1

N2 - Childhood maltreatment has diverse, lifelong impact on morbidity and mortality. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) is one of the most commonly used scales to assess and quantify these experiences and their impact. Curiously, despite very widespread use of the CTQ, scores on its Minimization-Denial (MD) subscale-originally designed to assess a positive response bias-are rarely reported. Hence, little is known about this measure. If response biases are either common or consequential, current practices of ignoring the MD scale deserve revision. Therewith, we designed a study to investigate 3 aspects of minimization, as defined by the CTQ's MD scale: 1) its prevalence; 2) its latent structure; and finally 3) whether minimization moderates the CTQ's discriminative validity in terms of distinguishing between psychiatric patients and community volunteers. Archival, item-level CTQ data from 24 multinational samples were combined for a total of 19,652 participants. Analyses indicated: 1) minimization is common; 2) minimization functions as a continuous construct; and 3) high MD scores attenuate the ability of the CTQ to distinguish between psychiatric patients and community volunteers. Overall, results suggest that a minimizing response bias-as detected by the MD subscale-has a small but significant moderating effect on the CTQ's discriminative validity. Results also may suggest that some prior analyses of maltreatment rates or the effects of early maltreatment that have used the CTQ may have underestimated its incidence and impact. We caution researchers and clinicians about the widespread practice of using the CTQ without the MD or collecting MD data but failing to assess and control for its effects on outcomes or dependent variables.

AB - Childhood maltreatment has diverse, lifelong impact on morbidity and mortality. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) is one of the most commonly used scales to assess and quantify these experiences and their impact. Curiously, despite very widespread use of the CTQ, scores on its Minimization-Denial (MD) subscale-originally designed to assess a positive response bias-are rarely reported. Hence, little is known about this measure. If response biases are either common or consequential, current practices of ignoring the MD scale deserve revision. Therewith, we designed a study to investigate 3 aspects of minimization, as defined by the CTQ's MD scale: 1) its prevalence; 2) its latent structure; and finally 3) whether minimization moderates the CTQ's discriminative validity in terms of distinguishing between psychiatric patients and community volunteers. Archival, item-level CTQ data from 24 multinational samples were combined for a total of 19,652 participants. Analyses indicated: 1) minimization is common; 2) minimization functions as a continuous construct; and 3) high MD scores attenuate the ability of the CTQ to distinguish between psychiatric patients and community volunteers. Overall, results suggest that a minimizing response bias-as detected by the MD subscale-has a small but significant moderating effect on the CTQ's discriminative validity. Results also may suggest that some prior analyses of maltreatment rates or the effects of early maltreatment that have used the CTQ may have underestimated its incidence and impact. We caution researchers and clinicians about the widespread practice of using the CTQ without the MD or collecting MD data but failing to assess and control for its effects on outcomes or dependent variables.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84958214032&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84958214032&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0146058

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0146058

M3 - Article

C2 - 26815788

AN - SCOPUS:84958214032

VL - 11

JO - PLoS One

JF - PLoS One

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 1

M1 - e0146058

ER -