Examining long-term correlates of psychological, physical, and sexual childhood maltreatment, validation of the childhood maltreatment questionnaire

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Demare, Daniel
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The Childhood Maltreatment Questionnaire (CMQ) is a retrospective-report questionnaire for adults that was created by the present author in 1992 to assess the extent to which respondents might have experienced various forms of maltreatment during childhood. The CMQ has three component questionnaires: the Psychological Maltreatment Questionnaire (PMQ), the Physical Abuse Questionnaire (PAQ), and the Sexual Abuse Questionnaire (SAQ). As the main impetus for the creation of the CMQ was the lack of a comprehensive instrument to assess psychological maltreatment, the emphasis in this course of research is on the PMQ. Findings from initial research with approximately 1,200 undergraduate university students suggested that the CMQ may be a reliable and valid measure of childhood maltreatment, although examination of additional aspects of reliability and validity was indicated. In the present study, a second sample of approximately 1,200 university students completed surveys including the CMQ, inventories of currentpsychological symptom status, and related measures. Surveys were re-administered to a subsample of 600 students after a 4-month time lag. Findings from reliability and correlational analyses indicate that the CMQ has strong internal consistency, temporal stability, and test-retest reliability, as well as good concurrent, convergent, and discriminant validity. Results from hierarchical multiple regression analyses (MRA) provide evidence for the incremental validity of the PMQ relative to an alternative measure of psychological maltreatment. Multivariate analysis of covariance and MRA results also indicate that a self-reported history of childhood psychological maltreatment is a relatively strong predictor of psychological symptoms reported in adulthood, and that the consistency of respondents' reports of childhood maltreatment over a 4-month lag is not affected meaningfully by their psychological symptom status.