Assessment of Repetitive Negative Thinking in Children: the Perseverative Thinking Questionnaire – Child Version (PTQ-C)

  • Patricia Bijttebier
  • Filip Raes
  • Michael W. Vasey
  • Margot Bastin
  • Thomas W. Ehring


Repetitive negative thinking (RNT) has been shown to be an important vulnerability factor for a variety of emotional problems. Recently, the Perseverative Thinking Questionnaire (PTQ) was developed as a content-independent measure of RNT in adults, which allows research into this process from a transdiagnostic perspective. The current study describes the construction of a child-appropriate version of the instrument and provides initial evidence for its reliability and validity. Both a one-factor model and a three-factor higher-order model were found to adequately fit with the data but the more parsimonious one-factor model was retained for further analyses. The unidimensional PTQ-C scale showed excellent internal consistency and its validity was supported by substantial correlations with other measures of repetitive thinking as well as with symptom levels of depression and anxiety. Finally, as expected, regression analyses suggested that the PTQ-C scale captures the general repetitive negative thinking associated with anxiety and depression, whereas measures of worry and brooding tap additional content-related aspects of these symptom dimensions.


Rumination Worry Repetitive negative thinking Children Questionnaire 



This research project was sponsored by Grant G.0923.12 from the Fund of Scientific Research-Flanders to the first author.

Conflict of Interest

None of the authors has any conflicts of interest to declare.

Experiment Participants

The study procedures were approved by the ethical review board of the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of KU Leuven.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia Bijttebier
    • 1
  • Filip Raes
    • 1
  • Michael W. Vasey
    • 2
  • Margot Bastin
    • 1
  • Thomas W. Ehring
    • 3
  1. 1.KU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  3. 3.University of MünsterBerlinGermany

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