Sexual trauma screening for men and women: Examining the construct validity of a two-item screen

Michelle A. Mengeling, Kelly Hyman Burkitt, Gala True, Susan L. Zickmund, Sarah S. Ono, Nichole K. Bayliss, William C. Holmes, Anne G. Sadler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the largest integrated healthcare system in the United States, has conducted universal screening for military sexual trauma (MST) to facilitate MST-related care since 2002. VHA defines MST as sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that occurred during military service. Evidence of construct validity, the degree to which the screen is measuring what it purports to measure (i.e., MST), was examined using the 23-item Sexual Experiences Questionnaire-Department of Defense (SEQ-DoD). Results showed individuals who endorsed no SEQ-DoD items screened MST negative. Those who had experienced more SEQ-DoD behaviors with greater frequency, and across all four SEQ-DoD domains, were more likely to screen MST positive. Findings were similar for men and women. These findings contribute to the validity evidence for the VHA MST screen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-193
Number of pages19
JournalViolence and Victims
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • Military sexual trauma
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual harassment
  • Veterans
  • Workplace violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Health(social science)
  • Law


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