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Trauma and Attachment Belief Scale (TABS)

Trauma and Attachment Belief Scale (TABS)
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Assesses long-term impact of trauma, helping clinicians design effective individualized treatment plans

Age Range

9 years and up


10 - 15 minutes

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Trauma and Attachment Belief Scale (TABS)

L. A. Pearlman

Previously known as the Traumatic Stress Institute, (TSI) Belief Scale, this highly useful new instrument assesses the longlasting psychological impact of traumatic life events. The TABS helps clinicians design the most effective therapeutic approach for individual trauma survivors as well as important themes that characterize the client’s relationships--often including the therapeutic relationship.

Assess 5 areas sensitive to the effects of trauma:

Composed of 84 items, the TABS is a self-report, paper-and-pencil test. It assesses beliefs--about self and others--that are related to five needs commonly affected by traumatic experience:

• Safety
• Trust
• Esteem
• Intimacy
• Control

For each of these dimensions, the TABS produces 10 scale scores reflecting “beliefs about self” and “beliefs about others.” A Total Score is also provided.

The client rates each item on a 6-point scale. Adult norms are based on a heterogeneous sample of 1,743 individuals ages 18 and older. Youth norms are derived from a sample of 1,242 students, 9 to 18 years of age, from public schools throughout the United States. Theory are separated by age (9 to 13 years and 14 to 18 years). Test items require only a third-grade reading level. Use the TABS to examine relationship disruptions.

Because the effects of trauma are so pervasive--often involving defences, coping styles, view of self and others, ego resources, psychological needs, world view, and identity--the TABS has a wide range of clinical applications. It can be used even when a client does not meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD since it addresses issues that frequently come up in therapy for other problems. Items do not focus on trauma-related symptoms per se, but rather on an individual’s relationship history. They do not stigmatise or pathologize, making the TABS helpful in any therapeutic endeavour that is focused on relationship disruptions.

Brief, easy to read, non threatening, and highly sensitive to the specific effects of traumatic experience, the TABS gives clinicians a valuable tool in assessing trauma survivors, clients with PTSD, individuals with vicarious traumatization, and those with other psychological problems.


Adult norms are based on a sample of 1,743, youth norms on a sample of 1,242 students, separated by age (9 to 13 years and 14 to 18 years). 

Product Items

TABS Kit: 25 Adult AutoScore Test/Profile Forms; 25 Youth AutoScore™ Test/Profile Forms; Manual
Item # MPS03-W393
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TABS Adult AutoScore Test/Profile Form (Pack of 25)
Item # MPS03-W393A
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