Impact of Event Scale (IES)

A self-report tool that measures stress reactions to a traumatic life event. IES consists of 15 items, which are grouped and scored based on two sub-categories—intrusion and avoidance. When filling out the questionnaire, a child is directed tofirst write at the top of the page the specific life event to be used for questionnaire responses, and the date of its occurrence. The child is then asked to recall whether or not he/she experienced each of the 15 items in the last week. If the child is able to recall an item, the frequency —Rarely, Sometimes, and Often—and intensity—Mild, Moderate, or Severe—are measured. A revised IES scale, called IES-R, was developed shortly after the introduction of the IES, and is similar to the IES but contains 22 items (8 avoidance and 8 intrusion items) and an additional hyper-arousal sub-category (6 items). In both scales, the following response options are used: Not at All (0), A Little Bit (1), Moderately (2), Quite a Bit(3), and Extremely (4). IES yields a total score from 0 to 60, and IES-R a score from 0 to 88. Higher scores are more indicative of increased stress reactions. It is also possible to calculate sub-scale scores for intrusion, avoidance, and hyper-arousal. Although IES was not originally designed as a tool for children, it has been used successfully on several occasions with children. The Children’s Impact of Event Scale 8 (CRIES-8, and also called IES-8), containing eight of the most child-pertinent items from the IES, was developed to reflect differences between adults and children in responding to trauma. Modeled after the IES, CRIES-8 consists of four items measuring intrusion and four items measuring avoidance. Another child-specific IES scale that expands on the CRIES-8 is the Children’s Impact of Event Scale 13 (CRIES-13). In CRIES-13, the same eight items relating to intrusion and avoidance from CRIES-8 are present, plus five items measuring arousal. CRIES-8 and-13 are measured and scored by the following responses: Not at All (0), Rarely (1), Sometimes (3), and Often (5). All ofthe scales can be administered in group settings.

Related Publications

Allwood, M.A., Bell-Dolan, D., & Husain, S. A. (2002). Children’s Trauma and Adjustment Reactions to Violent andNonviolent War Experiences.Journal of the American Academy ofChild and Adolescent Psychiatry, 41(40), 450-457.

Bromet E. J., Goldgaber, D., Carlson, G., Panina, N., Golovakha, E., Gluzman, S., …Schwartz, J. E. (2000). Children’s Well-being 11 Years After theChernobyl Catastrophe. JAMA -Archives of General Psychiatry, 57(6), 563-571.

What it measures

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Trauma exposure



Children aged 8 years and older


Horowitz, M.J., Wilner, M. & Alverez, W. (1979). Impact ofEvents Scale: A measure of subjective stress.PsychosomaticMedicine, 41 (3), 209-218. (IES)


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