The Centrality of Events Scale for Italian Adolescents: Integrating Traumatic Experience Into One’s Identity and Its Relation to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptomatology


  • Chiara Ionio
  • Eleonora Mascheroni
  • Paola Di Blasio


Adolescents could develop areas of vulnerability, especially if they have had to deal with highly stressful and traumatic life events. Stressful experiences can work as traumatic memories that become central to one’s life and core topics for one’s identity and for the attribution of meaning to life experience. The present work evaluates (a) the internal structures of the 20-item Centrality of Event Scale in the Italian context and (b) the impact of stressful and traumatic experience during adolescence. The present work includes a convenience sample of 872 Italian adolescents -528 males, 344 females- aged between 11 and 21 years (M = 15.85; SD = 2.09). We performed a confirmatory factor analysis that confirmed a three-factor solution. Moreover, the perception of stressful event as central in the participants’ lives was significantly correlated with the presence of PTSD symptomatology, as measured by the Impact of Event Scale Revised. We found that participants with PTSD symptoms had significantly higher CES scores. These data show the validity of the CES with adolescent samples, emphasizing the sensitivity of this instrument in detecting the impact of negative life experiences even in a sample of adolescents.