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Recognizing trauma and its impacts is crucial for correct diagnosis and proper interventions and for researching mental health. However, there are ongoing concerns about the safety of asking about trauma in research and clinical settings. This study investigated the levels of distress related to trauma screening. We analyzed survey data from two samples of young adults (N = 781 Chinese speakers and N = 283 English speakers) in which most participants (82.2% to 90.1%) were exposed to childhood trauma. Most participants reported either no distress or only a minimal level of distress (60.7% to 68%) after answering standardized questions about childhood trauma; 3.5% to 4% reported a considerable or great level of distress. Childhood trauma (β = .276 to .368, p < .001) and PTSD symptoms (β = .228 to .255, p < .001) were associated with the levels of distress. The findings are consistent across two samples with different cultural and language backgrounds. Although most participants were comfortable with trauma screening, 53.7% of participants in Sample 1 reported that it would be difficult for them if they needed to recount their traumatic experiences. We provide preliminary yet up-to-date data showing that screening for childhood trauma is rarely associated with considerable levels of immediate distress. Researchers and service providers can have confidence in screening for childhood trauma, although it is still essential to implement measures that minimize potential risks. We discuss the need for future studies and the importance of developing interventions that can serve as alternatives to trauma-focused therapies.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Childhood trauma, Trauma screening, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Trauma-informed care, Mental health services