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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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Posttraumatic Maladaptive Beliefs Scale (PMBS)


Posttraumatic Maladaptive Beliefs Scale (PMBS)


The PMBS is a 15-item scale that was developed to measure maladaptive beliefs about life circumstances that may occur following trauma exposure. This brief measure is relevant across a wide range of trauma exposures. Respondents are provided a list of beliefs that people sometimes have in response to stressful life experiences and asked to indicate how true they believe each statement to be.

Administration and Scoring

The PMBS is most suitable for research purposes, although it may also be useful in clinical case formulation. It can be administered as a self-report measure.

The scale is comprised of three subscales: Threat of Harm, Self-Worth and Judgment, and Reliability and Trustworthiness of Others. Scores on each subscale can be derived by summing items within each subscale. A list of subscale items and reverse-code directions are indicated on the measure. Possible scores range from 15-105, and subscale scores range from 5-35.

Sample Item

  • Item: I don't feel safe anywhere anymore
  • Response: 7-point Likert (1 = "Not True" to 7 "Completely True")


Vogt, D. S., Shipherd, J. C., & Resick, P. A. (2012). Posttraumatic Maladaptive Beliefs Scale: Evolution of the Personal Beliefs and Reactions Scale. Assessment, 19, 308-317. doi:10.1177/1073191110376161

To Obtain Scale

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

Download the Posttraumatic Maladaptive Beliefs Scale:

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