Author ORCID Identifier

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling and Human Services

First Advisor

Daniel DeCino


Child psychological maltreatment (PM) is challenging to define and difficult for a child to articulate. This study introduces the development and initial implementation of the Psychological Maltreatment Inventory (PMI) with child participants. The PMI consists of 16 items validated by subject matter experts. The pilot study sample (N = 21) and large sample (N = 166) consisted of child participants currently involved in open child maltreatment cases at a Child Advocacy Center (CAC) in the Midwest. Quantitative research was used to explore the descriptive characteristics of the PMI to participant demographic information and correlational design to explore the relationship between the PMI and general trauma symptom scale scores reported on the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children Screening Form (TSCC-SF). Results indicate that the PMI has high reliability (16 items, α= .91) Results indicate no evidence that the PMI total score was influenced by demographic characteristics (age, race, gender identity, maltreatment case allegation, or offender relationship status). In the large sample (N = 166), a positive relationship was discovered between PMI scores and general trauma symptom scores (r = .78, p = .01). The evidence gathered in this study illustrates the critical need to continue to perfect the PMI for regular use.

Subject Categories

Counseling Psychology


assessment, child abuse, emotional abuse, emotional neglect, mental injury, psychological maltreatment

Number of Pages



University of South Dakota

Available for download on Monday, April 21, 2025