Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Douglas Clark Strohmer

Committee Member

Mardi Smith

Committee Member

Steve Zanskas

Committee Member

Sha'Kema Blackmon


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is found in 8.7% of the general population in the United States. Inexplicably, PTSD is virtually ignored in the United States penal system despite the high comorbidity of suicidal ideation associated with the disorder. Furthermore, the reading level of current instruments utilized to measure PTSD and suicidal ideation in the penal system may be inappropriate since over 14% of inmates enter prison after having only completed at most only 6 years of formal schooling. The purpose of this dissertation is to address this deficit by developing scales with an appropriate measure of PTSD and suicide potential in an incarcerated population. These scales utilize wording at or below the 4th grade reading level. The scales exhibit solid psychometric properties, as demonstrated by internal consistency, concurrent validity, and construct validity. Participants (n = 406) were drawn by soliciting volunteers from the population of inmates at a mid-southern regional prison. The Post-traumatic Checklist, Civilian version was used to measure PTSD, the Columbia- Suicide Severity Rating Scale, and the Personality Assessment Screener to measure suicidality. The Beck Anxiety Inventory was used to measure symptoms of anxiety. These instruments were administered in order to demonstrate the concurrent and discriminant validity of the new scales.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.