Article

The Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC): Factor Structure, Reliability, and Validity

Department of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 6.35). 05/1997; 36(4):554-65. DOI: 10.1097/00004583-199704000-00019
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To describe the history, factor structure, reliability, and validity of the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC).
In two separate school-based population studies, principal-components factor analysis was used, first, to test a theory-driven factor structure, and second, to develop an empirically derived factor structure for the MASC. In a separate study using a clinical population, test-retest reliability at 3 weeks and 3 months, interrater concordance, and convergent and divergent validity were examined.
The final version of the MASC consists of 39 items distributed across four major factors, three of which can be parsed into two subfactors each. Main and subfactors include (1) physical symptoms (tense/restless and somatic/autonomic), (2) social anxiety (humiliation/rejection and public performance fears), (3) harm avoidance (perfectionism and anxious coping), and (4) separation anxiety. The MASC factor structure, which presumably reflects the in the vivo structure of pediatric anxiety symptoms, is invariant across gender and age and shows excellent internal reliability. As expected, females show greater anxiety on all factors and subfactors than males. Three-week and 3-month test-retest reliability was satisfactory to excellent. Parent-child agreement was poor to fair. Concordance was greatest for easily observable symptom clusters and for mother-child over father-child or father-mother pairs. Shared variance with scales sampling symptom domains of interest was highest for anxiety, intermediate for depression, and lowest for externalizing symptoms, indicating adequate convergent and divergent validity.
The MASC is a promising self-report scale for assessing anxiety in children and adolescents.

5 Followers
 · 
411 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Theories of temperament suggest that individual differences in affective reactivity (e.g., negative affectivity) may confer risk for internalizing psychopathology in youth and that self-regulatory aspects of temperament (e.g., effortful control) may protect against the deleterious effects of high negative affective reactivity. However, no study to date has examined how the relationship between temperament and youth internalizing psychopathology may be moderated by stress. The current study used a prospective longitudinal design to test the interaction of temperament (e.g., negative affectivity and effortful control) and stressors as a predictor of youth (ages 7-16; 56 % female; N = 576) depressive and anxious symptoms over a 3-month period. Findings show that at low levels of stress, high levels of effortful control protect against the development of depressive and anxious symptoms among youth with high levels of negative affectivity. However, at high levels of stress, this buffering effect is not observed. Gender and grade did not moderate this relationship. Overall, findings extend current understanding of how the interaction of individual psychosocial vulnerabilities and environmental factors may confer increased or decreased risk for depressive and anxious symptoms.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 04/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10802-015-9997-7 · 3.09 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Peer victimization is a significant risk factor for a range of negative outcomes during adolescence, including depression and anxiety. Recent research has evaluated individual characteristics that heighten the risk of experiencing peer victimization. However, the role of emotional clarity, or the ability to understand one's emotions, in being the target of peer victimization remains unclear. Thus, the present study evaluated whether deficits in emotional clarity increased the risk of experiencing peer victimization, particularly among adolescent girls, which, in turn, contributed to prospective levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms. In the present study, 355 early adolescents (ages 12-13; 53 % female; 51 % African American) who were part of the Adolescent Cognition and Emotion project completed measures of emotional clarity, depressive symptoms, and anxiety symptoms at baseline, and measures of peer victimization, depressive symptoms, and anxiety symptoms at follow-up. Moderation analyses indicated that deficits in emotional clarity predicted greater peer victimization among adolescent girls, but not adolescent boys. Moderated mediation analyses revealed that deficits in emotional clarity contributed to relational peer victimization, which, in turn, predicted prospective levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms among adolescent girls, but not boys. These findings indicate that deficits in emotional clarity represent a significant risk factor for adolescent girls to experience relational peer victimization, which, in turn, contributed to prospective levels of internalizing symptoms. Thus, prevention programs should target deficits in emotional clarity to prevent peer victimization and subsequent internalizing symptoms among adolescent girls.
    Journal of Youth and Adolescence 02/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10964-015-0260-x · 2.72 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Parental Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), particularly maternal PTSD, confers risk for stress-related psychopathology among offspring. Altered hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning is one mechanism proposed to explain transmission of this intergenerational risk. Investigation of this mechanism has been largely limited to general stress response (e.g., diurnal cortisol), rather than reactivity in response to an acute stressor. We examined cortisol reactivity in response to a laboratory stressor among offspring of mothers with a lifetime diagnosis of PTSD (n=36) and age- and gender- matched control offspring of mothers without PTSD (n=36). Youth (67% girls; mean age=11.4, SD=2.6) participated in a developmentally sensitive laboratory stressor and had salivary cortisol assessed five times (one pre-stress, one immediate post-stress, and three recovery measures, spaced 15min apart). Results were consistent with the hypothesis that offspring of mothers with PTSD would exhibit a dysregulated, blunted cortisol reactivity profile, and control offspring would display the expected adaptive peak in cortisol response to challenge profile. Findings were maintained after controlling for youth traumatic event history, physical anxiety symptoms, and depression, as well as maternal depression. This finding contributes to the existing literature indicating that attenuated HPA axis functioning, inclusive of hyposecretion of cortisol in response to acute stress, is robust among youth of mothers with PTSD. Future research is warranted in elucidating cortisol reactivity as a link between maternal PTSD and stress-related psychopathology vulnerability among offspring. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Psychoneuroendocrinology 01/2015; 53C:170-178. DOI:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.01.001 · 5.59 Impact Factor