Grief and dissociation after traumatic exposures are among the most important predictors of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This article introduces the Traumatic Dissociation and Grief Scale (TDGS), a 23-item measure easily administered. The TDGS, the Child PTSD-Reaction Index (CPTSD-RI), and a questionnaire concerning risk factors related to the event (losses, injury, and witnessing death and injuries) were administered to school-aged children who had been directly exposed to the 1999 earthquakes in Turkey and to a nonexposed control group. Factor analysis of the TDGS yielded four factors: perceptual distortions, body-self distortions, irritability, and guilt and anhedonia. A moderate positive correlation was noted between the TDGS and the CPTSD-RI. Different sets of risk factors were associated with the different scale factors. The results suggest that the assessment of psychopathology in children following a disaster requires the complementary evaluation of symptoms of posttrauma, dissociation, and grief.
—J Nerv Ment Dis 190:824–832, 2002
1 Tel Aviv Community Mental Health Center and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, 9 Hatzvi St., Tel Aviv 67197, Israel. Send reprint requests to Dr. Laor.
2 Yale Child Study Center, New Haven, Connecticut.
3 Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey.
4 Municipality of Tel-Aviv, Israel.
This study was supported by the Foundation for Children at Risk, Israel, and the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, U.S.A.