Australian Aboriginal Version of the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (AAVHTQ)

The Australian Aboriginal Version of the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (AAVHTQ) is culturally responsive adaptation of the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire for Aboriginal people. It has been described as a culturally competent measure of specific traumatic stressors and trauma symptoms criteria for PTSD (Atkinson 2008). This questionnaire measures specific traumatic stressors and trauma symptoms (DSM-III-R criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder —PTSD). The questionnaire includes specific cultural idioms of distress reactions relevant to Australian Aboriginal people (Atkinson 2008).

Further Reading

Atkinson, C. L. (2008). The Violence Continuum: Australian Aboriginal male violence and generational post-traumatic stress. Charles Darwin University, NT.

Negative Life Events Scale

The Negative Life Events Scale (NLES) was initially designed in 2007 (Kowal et al 2007) to measure emotional and social wellbeing for Australian Bureau of Statistics survey with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. A list of negative life events were selected based on consultation with Indigenous representatives.  Respondents are asked to reply yes or no to each of the items.  Kowal and colleagues (2007) found adequate reliability and discriminant validity of a modified version of the NLES with a sample of heads of households and carers of young children in those households in two remote communities in the Northern Territory.  The study explored how the NLES can assessed for community and practitioner endorsement, discrimination, internal and external reliability. The authors identified the NLES as a promising assessment of psychosocial wellbeing in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations and called for further research on the measure in other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.

A more recent study by Stevens and Paradies (2014) compared the psychometric properties of 11 items of the NLES for Aboriginal Australians living in rural and remote versus non-remote locations in the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. The authors found a different factor structure for rural/remote and other areas, suggesting that different results may be obtained depending on location.

Further Reading

Kowal, E., Gunthorpe, W., & Bailie, R. ( 2007). Measuring emotional and social wellbeing in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations: An analysis of a negative life events scale. International Journal for Equity in Health

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Stevens, M., & Paradies, Y. (2014). Changes in exposure to ‘life stressors’ in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, 2002 to 2008. BMC Public Health, 14, 144