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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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Stressful Life Events Screening Questionnaire (SLESQ)

Stressful Life Events Screening Questionnaire (SLESQ)

Goodman, Corcoran, Turner, Yuan, & Green, 1998


The Stressful Life Events Screening Questionnaire (SLESQ) is a 13-item self-report measure for non-treatment seeking samples that assesses lifetime exposure to traumatic events. Eleven specific and two general categories of events, such as a life-threatening accident, physical and sexual abuse, witness to another person being killed or assaulted, are examined. For each event, respondents are asked to indicate whether the event occurred ("yes" or "no"), their age at time of the event, as well as other specific items related to the event, such as the frequency, duration, whether anyone died, or was hospitalization, etc. The SLESQ is recommended for research and general screening purposes, and is available in English and Spanish.

Sample Item

Was physical force or a weapon ever used against you in a robbery or a mugging? How many perpetrators? Describe physical force. Did anyone die? What injuries did you receive? Was your life in danger?


Goodman, L., Corcoran, C., Turner, K., Yuan, N., & Green, B. (1998). Assessing traumatic event exposure: General issues and preliminary findings for the Stressful Life Events Screening Questionnaire. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 11(3), 521-542.

Green, B., Chung, J., Daroowalla, A., Kaltman, S., & DeBenedictis, C. (2006). Evaluating the Cultural Validity of the Stressful Life Events Screening Questionnaire. Violence Against Women, 12(12), 191-213.

Additional Reviews

Orsillo (2001) (PDF) p. 287

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

Norris and Hamblen (2004) (PDF) p. 70.

Norris, Fran H. & Hamblen, Jessica L. (2004). Standardized self-report measures of civilian trauma and PTSD. In J.P. Wilson, T.M. Keane & T. Martin (Eds.), Assessing psychological trauma and PTSD (pp. 63-102). New York: Guilford Press. PTSDpubs ID 18638

To Obtain Scale

Available for download at will take you outside the VA website. VA is not responsible for the content of the linked site.

Lisa A. Goodman

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.

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