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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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Mississippi Scale for Combat-Related PTSD (M-PTSD) for DSM-III


Mississippi Scale for Combat-Related PTSD (M-PTSD) for DSM-III


The M-PTSD is a 35-item self-report measure that assesses combat-related PTSD in Veteran populations. Items sample DSM-III symptoms of PTSD and frequently observed associated features (substance abuse, suicidality, and depression).


Respondents are asked to rate how they feel about each item using 5-point, Likert-style response categories. Ten positively framed items are reversed scored and then responses are summed to provide an index of PTSD symptom severity which can range from 35-175. Cutoff scores for a probable PTSD diagnosis have been validated for some populations, but may not generalize to other populations.

Sample Item

  • Item: Before I entered the military I had more close friends than I have now.
  • Response: 5-point Likert (1 = "not at all true" to 5 = "extremely true")


A civilian version was developed in conjunction with the original M-PTSD to assess PTSD resulting from other (non-military) types of traumatic experiences. Eleven questions in the M-PTSD Civilian version were reworded to remove the military reference. Scoring is the same. To account for changes in DSM-III-R, four additional items were included in the M-PTSD Civilian version to assess reexperincing, psychogenic amnesia, hypervigilance, and hyperarousal symptoms (Lauterbach et al., 1997).

A short, ten item form, Miss-10, is available (Hyer et al., 1991). M-PTSD-DS is an adapted version appropriate for Desert Storm War Zone personnel (Sloan et al., 1995). Also, a parallel version exists for administration to spouses/partners (Taft et al., 1999).

There is also the Revised Civilian Mississippi Scale for civilian samples (Norris and Perilla. 1996).


Hyer, L., Davis, H., Boudewyns, P., & Woods, M. G. (1991). A short form of the Mississippi Scale for Combat-Related PTSD. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 47, 510-518. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-4679(199812)54:8<1085::AID-JCLP8>3.0.CO;2-L

Keane, T. M., Caddell, J. M., & Taylor, K. L. (1988) Mississippi Scale for Combat-Related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Three studies in reliability and validity. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56, 85-90. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.56.1.85

Lauterbach, D., Vrana, S. R., King, D. W., & King, L. A. (1997). Psychometric properties of the civilian version of the Mississippi PTSD Scale. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 10, 499-513. doi: 10-1023/A:1024801607043

Norris, F. H., & Perilla, J. L. (1996). The Revised Civilian Mississippi Scale for PTSD: Reliability, validity, and cross-language stability. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 9, 285-298. doi: 10.1007/BF02110661

Sloan, P., Arsenault, L., Hilsenroth, M., & Harvill, L. (1995) Use of the Mississippi Scale for Combat-Related PTSD in detecting war-related, non-combat stress symptomatology. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 51, 799-801. doi: 10.1002/1097-4679(199511)51:6<799::AID-JCLP2270510611>3.0.CO;2-C

Taft, C. T., King, L. A., King, D. W., Leskin, G. A., & Riggs, D. S. (1999). Partners' ratings of combat Veterans' PTSD symptomatology (PDF). Journal of Traumatic Stress, 12, 327-334. doi: 10/1023/A:1024780610575 PTSDpubs ID: 14635

Additional Reviews

Orsillo (2001) (PDF) p. 274.

Orsillo, Susan M. (2001). Measures for acute stress disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder. In M.M. Antony & S.M. Orsillo (Eds.), Practitioner's guide to empirically based measures of anxiety (pp. 255-307). New York: KluwerAcademic/Plenum. PTSDpubs ID 24368

To Obtain Scale

This measure was created by staff at VA's National Center for PTSD.

Download the Mississippi Scale for Combat-related PTSD:

Are you using this measure with U.S. Veterans or Service members?

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Our PTSD Consultation Program can answer administration or scoring questions: or 866-948-7880.

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Measure availability: We provide information on a variety of measures assessing trauma and PTSD. These measures are intended for use by qualified mental health professionals and researchers. Measures authored by National Center staff are available as direct downloads or by request. Measures developed outside of the National Center can be requested via contact information available on the information page for the specific measure.

PTSD Information Voice Mail: (802) 296-6300
Also see: VA Mental Health