A measure of anxiety symptoms among children

Department of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
Behaviour Research and Therapy (Impact Factor: 3.85). 06/1998; 36(5):545-66. DOI: 10.1016/S0005-7967(98)00034-5
Source: PubMed


The Spence Children's Anxiety Scale (SCAS) is a child self-report measure designed to evaluate symptoms relating to separation anxiety, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic-agoraphobia, generalized anxiety and fears of physical injury. The results of confirmatory and exploratory factor analyses supported six factors consistent with the hypothesized diagnostic categories. There was support also for a model in which the 1st-order factors loaded significantly on a single 2nd-order factor of anxiety in general. The internal consistency of the total score and subscales was high and 6 month test-retest reliability was acceptable. The SCAS correlated strongly with a frequently used child self-report measure of anxiety. Comparisons between clinically anxious and control children showed significant differences in total SCAS scores, with subscale scores reflecting the type of presenting anxiety disorder of the clinical samples.

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    • "These interviews may be conducted with both parents and youth with ASD, although caution is always recommended when interpreting youth self-report, because of the tendency of youth with ASD to underreport symptoms (Russell & Sofronoff, 2005;Storch et al., 2013). Rating scales are typically the next line of assessment and can be categorized according to measures that assess the constructs that may underlie anxiety symptoms (somatic reactions, cognitive processes) (e.g., Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety ScaledRCMAS;Reynolds & Richmond, 1985) versus those that assess symptoms that can map directly onto specific DSM anxiety disorders (Spence Children's Anxiety ScalesdSCAS;Spence, 1998; Screen for Child Anxiety and Related Emotional Disor- dersdSCARED;Birmaher, et al., 1997).Lecavalier et al. (2014)conducted a comprehensive review of the strengths and weaknesses of available anxiety measures, particularly with regard to their applicability for clinical trials. Based on a variety of evaluative criteria, they categorized existing measures in the following manner: (1) appropriate; (2) appropriate with "
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    ABSTRACT: Youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are at increased risk for developing significant co-occurring psychiatric conditions. Although prevalence estimates vary, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are among the most common comorbid conditions. There has been increased interest in the assessment and treatment of these symptoms in youth with ASD, with the majority of studies thus far focusing on anxiety disorders. The present paper reviews the literature on the most common co-occurring psychiatric symptoms in youth with ASD and discusses current trends in intervention for these disorders. Given the numerous challenges involved in the identification of psychiatric conditions in youth with ASD, general guidelines for the assessment of psychiatric symptoms in youth with ASD will be provided. Information regarding the prevalence and specific assessment strategies for each mental health condition precedes a review of intervention programs. Although not specific to a single psychiatric condition, difficulties in emotion regulation are thought to underlie many of the social/emotional and behavioral difficulties characteristic of youth with ASD. Thus, the emerging research on emotion regulation interventions is also reviewed. Finally, it is important to note that the treatment programs presented in this paper have almost exclusively been developed and delivered in university-based clinic settings. Recommendations for bridging the research to practice gap for youth with ASD are discussed.
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    • "Parents reported that some items were not suitable for children in this range of cognitive functioning, as the items referred to children who were verbal and/or had a higher level of ability compared with the child they were asked to respond about. Children with an IQ N69 and who were 7 years of age or older completed the self-report version of the SCAS (n = 48) [25] and the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI) (n = 48) [26]. A psychologist was present with the children when they completed the instruments to provide clarification if needed. "
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    ABSTRACT: Methods: Children (5-15years) with active epilepsy were screened using the parent-report (n=69) and self-report (n=48) versions of the Spence Children's Anxiety Scale (SCAS) and the self-report version of the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI) (n=48) in a population-based sample. Results: A total of 32.2% of children (self-report) and 15.2% of children (parent-report) scored ≥1 SD above the mean on the SCAS total score. The subscales where most difficulty were reported on parent-report were Physical Injury and Separation Anxiety. There was less variation on self-report. On the CDI, 20.9% of young people scored ≥1 SD above the mean. Children reported significantly more symptoms of anxiety on the SCAS total score and three of the subscales (p<.05). There was a significant effect on the SCAS total score of respondents by seizure type interaction, suggesting higher scores on SCAS for children with generalized seizures on self- but not parent-report. Higher CDI scores were significantly associated with generalized seizures (p>.05). Summary: Symptoms of anxiety were more common based on self-report compared with parent-report. Children with generalized seizures reported more symptoms of depression and anxiety.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Epilepsy & Behavior
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    • "In a multiple mediator model, changes in CQ-C and CQ-P scores mediated treatment outcome. Further testing of specific contributions revealed that the CQ-C mediated outcome as measured by the Spence Children's Anxiety Scale (SCAS; Spence, 1998) and Spence Children's Anxiety Scale-Parent (PSCAS; Spence, 1998) although the CQ-P did not. Among the studies that tested for mediation, temporal precedence of the mediator was typically not established, limiting the ability to draw firm conclusions and make causal inferences (MacKinnon et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Test changes in (a) coping efficacy and (b) anxious self-talk as potential mediators of treatment gains at 3-month follow-up in the Child/Adolescent Anxiety Multimodal Treatment Study (CAMS). Method: Participants were 488 youth (ages 7-17; 50.4% male) randomized to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT; Coping cat program), pharmacotherapy (sertraline), their combination, or pill placebo. Participants met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) criteria for generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, and/or separation anxiety disorder. Coping efficacy (reported ability to manage anxiety provoking situations) was measured by youth and parent reports on the Coping Questionnaire, and anxious self-talk was measured by youth report on the Negative Affectivity Self-Statement Questionnaire. Outcome was measured using the Pediatric Anxiety Rating Scale (completed by Independent Evaluators blind to condition). For temporal precedence, residualized treatment gains were assessed at 3-month follow-up. Results: Residualized gains in coping efficacy mediated gains in the CBT, sertraline, and combination conditions. In the combination condition, some unique effect of treatment remained. Treatment assignment was not associated with a reduction in anxious self-talk, nor did anxious self-talk predict changes in anxiety symptoms. Conclusions: The findings suggest that improvements in coping efficacy are a mediator of treatment gains. Anxious self-talk did not emerge as a mediator. (PsycINFO Database Record
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
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Questions & Answers about this publication

  • Natan Pereira Gosmann added an answer in Self-Report:
    Any suggestions for a Self Report Anxiety Scales for school aged children?

    Any suggestions for a good self report anxiety scale other than the STAI - C for children ages 8 - 11yrs? With good reliability and validity? many thanks in advance. 

    Natan Pereira Gosmann

     Hello Fiona!

    I suggest you to consider Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED - Birmaher 1997), designed to evaluate anxiety symptoms through Generalized Anxiety, Panic, Separation Anxiety, Social Anxiety and School Anxiety factors.  Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale (SCAS – Spence 1998) may also be considered (assessing Generalized Anxiety, Panic, Separation Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Fears). Both self-report scales have large evidence of validity and reliability to assess anxiety symptoms in this age range.

    Best Regards,

    Natan Gosmann

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      ABSTRACT: To develop a reliable and valid child and parent self-report instrument to screen children with anxiety disorders. An 85-item questionnaire was administered to 341 outpatient children and adolescents and 300 parents. Utilizing item analyses and factor analyses, the original scale was reduced to 38 items. A subsample of children (n = 88) and parents (n = 86) was retested an average of 5 weeks (4 days to 15 weeks after the initial screening. The child and parent Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED) both yielded five factors: somatic/panic, general anxiety, separation anxiety, social phobia For the total score and each of the five factors, both the child and parent SCARED demonstrated good internal consistency (alpha = .74 to .93), test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficients = .70 to .90), discriminative validity (both between anxiety and other disorders and within anxiety disorders), and moderate parent-child agreement (r = .20 to .47, p < .001, all correlations). The SCARED shows promise as a screening instrument for anxiety disorders. Future studies using the SCARED in community samples are indicated.
      Full-text · Article · May 1997 · Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

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