Factor structure, measurement invariance, and psychometric properties of the Posttraumatic Cognitions Inventory-9 in Chinese adolescents and adults

Published: 1 February 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/3f8hh825b5.1
Fulei Geng,
Nalan Zhan


The Posttraumatic Cognitions Inventory (PTCI) is a widely used self-report tool to assess negative posttraumatic cognitions about self, world, and self-blame, but the factor structure remains controversial. Recently, a brief version of the PTCI with nine items (PTCI-9) loaded onto three factors has been developed and obtained excellent model fit. In this study, we examined the psychometric properties of PTCI and PTCI-9 in a large sample of trauma-exposed Chinese adolescents (n = 1451; mean age 13.67 years, SD = 1.24) and adults (n = 924; mean age 39.6 years, SD = 5.43). Confirmatory factor analysis indicated acceptable model fit of PTCI but much better model fit for PTCI-9. Furthermore, the configural, metric, and scalar invariances of the PTCI-9 were supported across age groups (adolescent vs adult), gender (male vs female), trauma exposure (direct vs indirect), and types of trauma (interpersonal vs non-interpersonal). Both the PTCI and PTCI-9, as well as their subscales, showed adequate internal consistency and test-retest reliability in adolescents and adults. Similar to the PTCI, the PTCI-9 showed good concurrent and discriminative validity, as demonstrated by the significant correlations with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and life satisfaction. Overall, the present study supports the Chinese PTCI and PTCI-9 as valid measures of negative cognitions in both adolescents and adults, and makes meaningful comparisons of negative cognitions across gender, trauma exposure, and types of trauma. Particularly, as one brief and valid tool, the PTCI-9 is suggested to be used in survey studies and longitudinal studies for both adolescents and adults.



Jiangxi Normal University


Clinical Psychology


National Natural Science Foundation of China

31700987, 32260210