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Measuring social anxiety in 11 countries: development and validation of the Social Anxiety Questionnaire for Adults


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This paper reports on two studies conducted to develop and validate a new self-report measure of social phobia/anxiety – the Social Anxiety Questionnaire for Adults (SAQ-A) (Cuestionario de ansiedad social para adultos, CASO-A). A diary-item recording procedure was used to generate the initial pool of items. In Study 1, data from 12,144 participants provided 6 factors with moderate intercorrelations. Estimates of internal consistency reliability were adequate (range = .86 to .92) for the 6 factors included in the final confirmatory factor analysis. In Study 2, data provided by 10,118 nonclinical participants were used to explore preliminary reliability and validity estimates for a revised version of the SAQ-A – the Social Anxiety Questionnaire for Adults Revised (SAQ-AR). Approximately 106 researchers from 10 Latin American countries and Spain contributed to this data collection process. Specific comments are made on the structure of the new questionnaire as regards some commonly-used self-report measures of social phobia/anxiety.
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V.E.Caballo et al.: Measuring Social Anxiety in 11 Co untriesEuropeanJournal of PsychologicalAssessment 2010; Vol. 26(2):95–107© 2010Hogrefe& Huber Publishers
Original Article
Measuring Social Anxiety
in 11 Countries
Development and Validation of the
Social Anxiety Questionnaire for Adults
Vicente E. Caballo1, Isabel C. Salazar2, María Jesús Irurtia3, Benito Arias3,
Stefan G. Hofmann4, and the CISO-A Research Team
1University of Granada, Spain, 2Pontificia Javeriana University at Cali, Colombia,
3University of Valladolid, Spain, 4Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
Abstract. This paper reports on two studies conducted to develop and validate a new self-report measure of social phobia/anxiety – the
Social Anxiety Questionnaire for Adults (SAQ-A) (Cuestionario de ansiedad social para adultos, CASO-A). A diary-item recording
procedure was used to generate the initial pool of items. In Study 1, data from 12,144 participants provided 6 factors with moderate
intercorrelations. Estimates of internal consistency reliability were adequate (range = .86 to .92) for the 6 factors included in the final
confirmatory factor analysis. In Study 2, data provided by 10,118 nonclinical participants were used to explore preliminary reliability
and validity estimates for a revised version of the SAQ-A – the Social Anxiety Questionnaire for Adults Revised (SAQ-AR). Approxi-
mately 106 researchers from 10 Latin American countries and Spain contributed to this data collection process. Specific comments are
made on the structure of the new questionnaire as regards some commonly-used self-report measures of social phobia/anxiety.
Keywords: social anxiety, social phobia, SAQ-AR, self-report measures, cross-cultural research
Once described as a neglected disorder (Liebowitz, 1987),
social anxiety has attracted a great deal of research interest
among psychiatrists and psychologists alike over the past
two decades. Several measures (interviews and invento-
ries) have been developed to tap the social anxiety con-
struct, including the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale
(LSAS; Liebowitz, 1987), the Social Phobia and Anxiety
Inventory (SPAI; Turner, Beidel, Dancu, &Stanley, 1989),
the Brief Social Phobia Scale (BSPS; Davidson et al.,
1991), the Social Phobia Scale (SPS; Mattick & Clarke,
1998),theSocialInteraction Anxiety Scale (SIAS; Mattick
&Clarke,1998),theSelf-StatementsDuring Public Speak-
ing Scale (Hofmann & DiBartolo, 2000), and the Social
Phobia Inventory (SPIN; Connor et al., 2000). In addition,
a number of older, but still popular, scales exist, such as the
Fear of Negative Evaluation (FNE) and Social Avoidance
and Distress (SAD) Scales (Watson & Friend, 1969).
Althoughfrequentlyused to assesssocialanxietyin clin-
ical and research settings, the existing instruments have a
number of limitations. First, items from most of these in-
struments were not empirically derived. For instance, the
items on the Social Phobia Scale (SPS) and the Social In-
teraction Anxiety Scale (SIAS) were subjectively derived
mainly from an initial pool of statements comprising 164
items, which themselves were derivatives of other existing
fear survey schedules and social anxiety inventories (Mat-
tick & Clarke, 1998). For example, the Social Phobia and
Anxiety Inventory’s (SPAI) initial item pool was generated
by the authors after reviewing available inventories and
DSM-III criteria for social phobia (APA, 1980), and by
compiling a list of complaints from a patient population
(Turner, Beidel et al., 1989). The Social Phobia Inventory
(SPIN; Connor et al., 2000) was based and modeled on a
formerinventory,theBrief Social PhobiaScale(BSPS;Da-
vidson et al., 1991), and the Liebowitz Social Anxiety
Scale (LSAS) was generated by the author of the instru-
ment (Liebowitz, 1987). Most of the items in these ques-
tionnaires corresponded to those in already existing sur-
veys, and issues regarding content validity were not ad-
dressed in greater detail (see Haynes, Richard, & Kubany,
1995, about the importance of this issue).
Notsurprisingly,the mostpopularinstrumentsvarycon-
siderably in the number and type of factors underlying the
social anxiety construct; in other words, their factor struc-
DOI: 10.1027/1015-5759/a000014
© 2010 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers European Journal of Psychological Assessment 2010; Vol. 26(2):95–107
tures appear far from robust. In the case of the LSAS, some
authors have identified four factors (Safren et al., 1999;
Slavkin, Holt, Heimberg, Jaccard, & Liebowitz, 1990),
whereas others have found a 5-factor solution (Baker,
Heinrichs,Kim,& Hofmann, 2002).Anadditionalproblem
is that not only the number, but the general content of the
factors differ across studies. Similar inconsistent findings
in factor solutions have been reported for other social anx-
iety/phobia measures, such as the SPIN (Antony, Coons,
McCabe,Ashbaugh,&Swinson, 2006; Connoretal.,2000;
Johnson, Inderbitzen-Nolan, & Anderson, 2006; Radom-
sky et al., 2006), the SPAI (Olivares, Garcia-Lopez, Hidal-
go, Turner, & Beidel, 1999; Osman, Barrios, Aukes, & Os-
man,1995;Turner,Stanley,Beidel, &Bond,1989),andthe
SAD and FNE (Hofmann, DiBartolo, Holaway, & Heim-
berg, 2004; Olivares, García-López, Hidalgo, 2004;
Turner, McCanna, & Beidel, 1987).
In addition to the aforementioned methodological prob-
lems with the nonobjective method of social anxiety scale
development is the fact that all of the above measures were
created exclusively for English speakers, primarily from
North America and Australia. The use of these instruments
with Spanish-speaking samples usually involves a some-
whatsimplisticdirect translation ofthequestionnairesfrom
English to Spanish (e.g., Olivares et al., 1999, 2004). Un-
fortunately, this procedure ignores cultural differences in
the expression of social anxiety and social norms (Hein-
richs et al., 2006). This is rather ironic when one considers
thatsocialinteractionstylesand norms are probably among
the most important defining features of a culture and are
often precisely the locus of differences across cultures.
Thus, it remains to be seen whether a questionnaire that
describes a variety of social situations is applicable across
cultures. To address the cultural and methodological limi-
series of studies in order to develop a new social anxiety
questionnaire, without directly relying on items from exist-
ing self-report instruments. In contrast to existing mea-
sures, we developed the instrument based on items gener-
ated by large and very diverse Spanish and Portuguese
speaking samples.
Study 1: Development of the
Initial Scale
Initial Item Selection
For 3 months per year over a period of 6 years, volunteer
students from the Department of Psychology at the Univer-
sity of Granada (Spain), along with their volunteer family
members, partners, and friends, were asked to keep a diary
of social situations that elicited some degree of anxiety,
nervousness, uneasiness, fear, or stress. Several examples
were given to students, who in turn had to explain the task
to their significant others, who also kept such a diary. Dif-
ferent students took part each year and the situations only
had to be recorded if they directly affected the participants.
It should be noted that the University of Granada teaches
students from all over Spain. Furthermore, the 3 months of
datacollectionincludedperiodsduring the regular academ-
ic year as well as holidays (Christmas). Accordingly, a va-
riety of different situations from people varying greatly in
age, schooling, and geographical origin were generated by
these diaries.
More than 1,000 participants recorded situations over 6
years, generating a pool of more than 10,000 social situa-
tions. From these, two pairs of social anxiety experts se-
lected scenarios for initial analysis, excluding those situa-
tions that were redundant or were not social in nature (i.e.,
another person[s] played a role in the situation). This left
2,171 scenarios, which were then grouped together based
on substantive similarity, leaving a total of 512 social situ-
Scale Construction
The experts then paraphrased the 512 social situations into
items. Four additional situations that typically produce
great distress were also selected (stressful life events, such
as “suffering an armed attack”) and added to control re-
sponse biases. These 516 items formed the Social Anxiety
Questionnaire for Adults (SAQ-A) (“Cuestionario de An-
siedad Social para Adultos”; CASO-A), the initial version
of a new self-report instrument intended to assess social
anxiety. The items were randomly ranked and each item
could be answered on a seven-point Likert scale to indicate
the level of uneasiness, stress or nervousness in response
to each situation: 0 = not at all,1=very slight,2=slight,
3=moderate,4=high,5=very high, and 6 = extremely
high. Instructions given to those completing the scale were
as follows:
“There follows a series of social situations that may causeyou
unease, stress or nervousness to a lesser or greater extent.
Please place an ‘X’ on the number that best reflects your reac-
tion. If you have never experienced the situation described,
please imagine what your level of unease, stress, or nervous-
ness might be if you were in that situation, placing an ‘X’ on
the corresponding number.”
Several blank lines were included at the end of the answer
sheet for participants filling out the questionnaire to add
more social situations if they wanted to do so.
Participating Countries and Researchers
A large number of potential collaborators were contacted
via e-mail and asked to assist in conducting the study. A
total of 106 research collaborators from 10 Latin American
96 V.E. Caballo et al.: Measuring Social Anxiety in 11 Countries
European Journal of Psychological Assessment 2010; Vol. 26(2):95–107 © 2010 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers
countries and Spain agreed to participate in data collection.
Most worked at academic institutions, and some worked in
private clinical service centers. The distribution by country
of researchers (and research groups) was as follows: Ar-
gentina = 16 collaborators (6 groups of researchers); Brazil
= 7 collaborators (5 groups of researchers); Chile = 7 (3
groups of researchers); Colombia = 16 (8 groups of re-
searchers); Costa Rica = 1 (1 group of researchers); Spain
= 10 (8 groups of researchers); Mexico = 35 (22 groups of
researchers); Paraguay = 3 (1 group of researchers); Peru
= 8 (8 groups of researchers); Uruguay = 2 (1 group of
researchers); and Venezuela = 1 (1 group of researchers).
The SAQ-A was sent to each collaborator with a request to
suggest changes in the wording of the items to be more
consistent with the specific language style of their culture.
The questionnaires were also completed by several stu-
dents in each country to evaluate whether the wording of
the items was correct. In order to derive the Portuguese
version,theSAQ-A was translated andbacktranslatedfrom
Portuguese to Spanish until agreement was reached be-
tweentranslators.Data was collected overthecourse of one
year and five months. Collaborators used a prepared data-
base in Excel to enter the data.
Participating Subjects
An initial pool of 13,397 participants completed the SAQ-
A (mean age = 25.43; SD = 10.13) (see Table 1 for the
distribution of participating subjects by country). Approx-
imately half (7,271) were women (mean age = 25.15; SD
= 10.05), and 6,126 were men (mean age = 25.76; SD =
10.22). The minimum age for subjects was 16 years. With
regard to age distribution, 5,420 (40.4%) subjects were
youngerthan20yearsold, 3,029 (22.7%) were between the
ages of 20 and 24, 1674 (12.49) were between 25 and 30,
2225 (16.61) were between 31 and 50, and 1,049 (7.83%)
were51 yearsorolder.The participants had different levels
of education (students, workers, etc.). Specifically, 17.6%
were university psychology students, 40.6% were univer-
sity students from other majors, 14% were workers with a
university degree, 13.1% were workers with no university
degree, 9.3% were high school students, and 3.7% could
notbeincluded in anyoftheformercategories(e.g.,retired
or unemployed). No data were obtained for the remaining
1.7% of participants.
Missing data were expected, given the size of the partic-
Table 1. Distribution of subjects by country in Study 1 (SAQ-A) and Study 2 (SAQ-AR)
Participant subjects by country in the first study with the SAQ-A Participant subjects in the second study with the SAQ-AR
Women Men All subjects Women Men All subjects
Country NMean age
(SD) NMean age
(SD) NMean age
(SD) NMean age
(SD) NMean age
(SD) NMean
age (SD)
Argentina ,499 30.25
(10.89) ,378 29.82
(11.42) ,877 30.05
(11.11) ,329 23.38
(5.42) ,348 24.77
(8.53) ,677 24.09
Brazil ,702 26.07
(9.48) ,547 27.55
(10.79) 1,249 26.76
(10.12) ,405 31.04
(13.06) ,358 30.12
(11.39) ,763 30.61
Chile ,376 26.90
(10.86) ,308 27.91
(11.52) ,684 27.36
(11.16) ,310 26.76
(11.65) ,297 26.53
(10.83) ,607 26.64
Colombia ,852 24,70
(9.60) ,774 25,47
(9.81) 1,626 25.21
(9.78) ,870 26,11
(11.98) ,857 27,80
(13.00) 1,727 26.96
Costa Rica ,205 23.23
(9.42) ,122 18.87
(5.82) ,327 21.58
(8.51) ,363 25.87
(9.10) ,186 25.35
(9.68) ,549 25.69
Spain ,905 22.80
(8.80) ,668 27.01
(12.00) 1,573 24.58
(10.48) 1,335 23.24
(8.66) ,907 26.21
(11.41) 2,242 24.44
Mexico 2,377 25.14
(10.34) 1,954 25.29
(9.68) 4,331 25.22
(10.05) 1,258 25.25
(12.16) 1,128 25.55
(9.93) 2,386 25.39
Paraguay ,91 24.62
(8.03) ,77 21.91
(6.82) ,168 23.27
(7.57) ,100 22.48
(5.83) ,100 21.85
(5.85) ,200 22.16
Peru 1,002 23.08
(8.37) ,978 23.25
(8.00) 1,980 23.16
(8.18) ,529 21.27
(6.33) ,497 21.71
(6.84) 1,026 21.49
Uruguay ,101 32.39
(12.27) ,100 33.43
(10.93) ,201 32.92
(11.60) ,135 31.30
(12.78) ,114 34.29
(13.11) ,249 32.67
Venezuela ,195 27.53
(11.91) ,186 25.56
(9.73) ,381 26.52
(10.88) ,301 19.77
(4.12) ,299 20.53
(4.57) 600 20.15
All countries 7,271 25.15
(10.05) 6,126 25.75
(10.22) 13,397 25.43
(10.13) 5,935 24.79
(10.51) 5,091 25.81
(10.74) 11,026 25.65
V.E. Caballo et al.: Measuring Social Anxiety in 11 Countries 97
© 2010 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers European Journal of Psychological Assessment 2010; Vol. 26(2):95–107
ipant pool, but did not appear to affect validity of statistical
analyses. To confirm that there was no systematic data loss
patternwetested data withSPSSMVA(missingvalue anal-
ysis). None of the variables exceeded 5% of missing data,
so it was not necessary to use t-test to verify if there was a
systematic relationship for missingness between the differ-
ent pairs of variables, nor was there a need to implement
multiple imputation to substitute missing data. We opted
for a listwise deletion of cases with missing data. Of the
13,397 subjects in the original sample, a total of 12,144
participants were retained for the different factor analyses.
Factor Analysis of the Initial Version of the
Questionnaire (SAQ-A = 516 Items)
In order to reduce the number of items, we performed an
exploratoryprincipalcomponentsfactoranalysiswith vari-
max rotation, which optimizes complex structures by cap-
turing a small number of large loadings and a large number
of small loadings for each factor. Examination of the scree
plotsuggesteda6-factor solution. Thehierarchicalanalysis
of oblique factors gave the same 6-factor solution (Statsoft,
2006). We then performed an oblique principal component
cluster analysis in order to group the items into nonover-
lappingclusters,soeachcluster could be interpreted as uni-
dimensional. This procedure allowed us to substitute a
group of variables with a smaller one (n-m) with the min-
imum loss of information in order to maximize the ex-
plainedvarianceby the components ofthecluster.Thispro-
cedure is iterative, at each step suppressing those variables
that have the highest ratio values. The smaller these values
are, the greater the evidence that the variable has a strong
relationship with the rest of the components of the cluster
and a weak relationship with the components of the other
clusters. The 512 variables were considered in the analysis
(forcing a solution of 6 clusters). The four control items
were not included in the analysis, but they did allow us to
estimate how many subjects might be filling the question-
naire at random because they were answerable in only one
directionofincreasingdistress.Giventhelargesample size
relative to the extremely small number of participants
flagged by the control items, no action was taken. After
successive analyses suppressing variables with the highest
(1 – R2own)/(1 – R2next)1ratio values, a solution of 12 items
per cluster was reached. The final distribution of the items
by cluster that were used in the subsequent analyses (ex-
ploratory and confirmatory factor analyses) is the same as
that found in Table 2.
Table 2. Item loadings for every factor and correlations item-total score for the SAQ-A
Factor loadings
Items and name of each factor F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 F6 Item
F1. Awkward Behavior in Embarrassing Situations
304. Making a mistake in front of other people .54 .02 –.06 .05 .06 .23 .648
306. Wanting to start aconversation and not knowing how .54 .05 .13 .11 .03 .01 .659
307. Realizing that I am boring the person that I am talking to .68 .05 –.02 .17 .02 –.08 .629
386. Not knowing how to continue a conversation after a topic has been exhausted .52 .00 .25 .07 .02 –.03 .634
387. Speaking and it appearing like nobody is listening to me .79 –.05 –.04 .16 .02 –.09 .592
388. Proposing an idea to a group of friends and not being taken seriously .71 –.05 .05 .14 .03 –.08 .600
389. Being alone at a party where I do not know anyone .58 .11 .08 .12 –.11 .07 .654
417. Wanting to enda conversation, but not knowing how .52 .08 .14 .04 .10 –.01 .665
420. Being at a friend’s house and not having anyone talking to me .69 .06 –.08 .10 .01 .01 .609
456. Being told off or scolded by a superior or a person in authority .60 .08 –.20 –.01 .18 .15 .621
470. Talking to a stranger who keeps prying into my personal life .66 .12 –.15 .04 .06 –.02 .557
487. Being in the home of strangers and not knowing what to say or do .47 .09 .07 .09 .05 .04 .617
F2. Interactions with the Opposite Sex
230. Being phoned by a person I am very attracted to –.29 .65 .4 .20 .12 .07 .570
247. Feeling watched by people of the opposite sex .10 .48 .13 .09 –.02 .08 .658
289. Expressing to a person of the opposite sex that I love them .04 .74 –.07 .04 .00 –.03 .549
98 V.E. Caballo et al.: Measuring Social Anxiety in 11 Countries
European Journal of Psychological Assessment 2010; Vol. 26(2):95–107 © 2010 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers
1In the formula, R2own represents the determination coefficient of each variable with its own cluster, and R2next the determination coefficient
of each variable with the nearest cluster. Naturally, we would want each component of the cluster to be strongly related with its own cluster
(R2own – 1) and less related with the nearest cluster (R2next – 0).
Factor loadings
Items and name of each factor F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 F6 Item
316. Approaching someone I am attracted to but have never met .26 .45 .05 .02 .03 .03 .656
342. Maintaining a conversation with a person of the opposite sex whom I find attractive –.01 .73 .09 .02 –.01 .02 .640
343. Being openly stared at by someone .25 .50 –.02 .03 .05 –.05 .601
362. Asking someone attractive of the opposite sex for a date .20 .67 –.06 .03 0.05 .02 .642
397. Being told by someone of the opposite sex that they like me .11 .72 .01 –.02 .01 –.02 .636
421. Asking someone I find attractive to dance .19 .52 .11 –.03 –.03 .03 .616
447. Being alone with someone I like very much .13 .74 .05 –.01 –.06 –.03 .643
452. Being asked out by a person I am attracted to –.02 .71 .16 –.06 .06 –.02 .642
453. Talking about my personal feelings with someone of the opposite sex .05 .61 .17 –.06 .05 –.04 .611
F3. Interactions with Strangers
270. My friends bringing along people I do not know .06 –.03 .56 .07 .09 .05 .569
275. Greeting each person at a social meeting when I don’t know most of them .26 –.05 .41 .07 .07 .11 .641
283. Attending a social event where I know only one person .18 .01 .43 .10 .03 .11 .630
332. Talking on the phone with someone I do not know very well –.03 –.03 .68 .07 .05 .04 .554
333. Greeting someone I do not know very well –.03 –.02 .76 .07 .00 .00 .563
418. Making new friends –.04 .13 .58 –.04 .00 .09 .542
441. Talking to a stranger .07 .09 .70 .02 –.05 –.02 .594
443. Being introduced to new people –.07 .09 .78 .00 –.02 .00 .567
449. Being asked to dance at a party –.02 .33 .37 –.06 .10 .00 .545
467. Maintaining a conversation with someone I’ve just met .11 .20 .54 –.03 0.04 .09 .667
501. Looking into the eyes of someone I have just met while we are talking –.07 .22 .44 .01 .07 .03 .523
504. Asking a stranger a question –.12 –.04 .67 .00 .15 .01 .470
F4. Criticism and Embarrassment
14. Going to a party on my own when I don’t know anyone .05 .14 .08 .56 –.19 .08 .479
18. Asking for a favor from a stranger .04 –.02 .09 .55 .00 .04 .456
20. Being told that I am doing something wrong .12 .08 –.21 .50 .04 .15 .458
39. Sitting at a table with strangers at a wedding .00 .05 .20 .57 –.10 .07 .521
44. Being criticized .05 .08 –.12 .48 .11 .08 .455
52. Greeting someone and being ignored .12 –.05 .17 .61 –.02 0.10 .470
54. Expressing my opinion and not being understood .09 –.05 .03 .51 .18 –.07 .446
70. Being teased in public .07 .11 –.04 .47 –.05 .15 .488
73. Talking to someone who does not look atme .21 –.08 .06 .55 .02 –.17 .369
128. Asking for a favor that is denied .19 –.02 –.05 .48 .20 .00 .545
147. Entering or leaving in the middle of a social event .08 –.02 .13 .40 .09 .12 .551
197. Asking a question in public and not getting an answer .31 –.08 –.08 .40 .13 .15 .582
F5. Assertive Expression of Annoyance, Disgust or Displeasure
160. While on a bus, asking someone not to step on me or push me –.05 –.01 –.04 .20 .56 .11 .542
201. Asking someone to stop kicking the back of my chair –.13 .02 –.01 .19 .63 .5 .511
217. Expressing my annoyance to someone that is picking on me –.10 .04 –.10 .14 .64 .13 .524
222. Asking someone who is speaking loudly at the movies to lower their voice –.08 –.03 .03 .14 .63 .09 .549
260. Asking someone for an explanation .07 .14 .19 –.02 .46 –.05 .578
263. Contradicting my parents’ opinion .15 –.01 .15 –.06 .54 –.15 .464
264. Arguing with my parents because I do not want to do a chore .26 –.06 .09 –.02 .52 –.16 .472
285. Having to ask a neighbor to stop making noise .27 –.03 .06 –.01 .53 –.01 .597
V.E. Caballo et al.: Measuring Social Anxiety in 11 Countries 99
© 2010 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers European Journal of Psychological Assessment 2010; Vol. 26(2):95–107
Exploratory Factor Analysis
Inordertotestwhetherthe72itemsof theabbreviatedinstru-
mentmap ontothe6-factorstructureof theoriginalscale,we
conducted an exploratory factor analysis. Given the ordinal
natureofthedata,wefirstcomputedapolychoric correlation
that the items complied with the following conditions: (1)
there were no items with extreme distributions (skewness
from –.36 to .41 with standard error of .023, kurtosis from
–1.07 to .33 with SE = .05); (2) all the items within each
cluster separately had high corrected item-total correlations
(homogeneityindex)(from.459to.726); (3)alltheproposed
factors had more than four items; (4) the sample was big
enough to thwart possible fluctuations of correlations; (5)
most of the elements of the anti-image correlation matrix
exceeded the recommended cut-off of .50 (.98 in the current
sample). Given that the data met these conditions, we pro-
ceeded to apply the ordinal analysis through the unweighted
least squares (ULS) method and promax rotation.
Results by χ² Bartlett’s test with 2556 df = 352275.768
(p< .000) showed that the variables were positively corre-
lated, and that the data were adequate for an exploratory
factor analysis. Furthermore, the KMO index of .984
showed a high proportion of common variance explained
by factors. Both indices support the adequacy of factorial
analysis of data.
Matrixsamplingadequacy(MSA) indices (ranging from
.951 to .994) confirm that the measure of sampling adequa-
cy of the variables in all cases fits the structure of the rest
of the variables (in fact, they are above the value of .500
which is usually used as a threshold to discard a variable
from analysis). Finally, 60% ofcommunalities were above
.50 (ranging from .35 to .70).
Inorder todecidetheoptimalnumberoffactors,a parallel
analysis (Velicer, Eaton, & Fava, 2000; Watkins, 2000) was
implemented usingtheMonteCarloprocedurewith200rep-
lications to determinethe numberof eigenvalueswithvalues
above those that could be obtained from the same number of
subjects and variables (i.e., generating a group of random
valueswithnormaldistribution,calculating thematrixofcor-
relations and subjecting it to principal components analysis
to calculate the meaneigenvalues). Results show that the 6-
factorsolutionis the bestfit to ourdata,giventhatthe sizeof
randomly generatedeigenvalues after factor 6 is higher than
the observed eigenvalues.
This exploratory factor analysis identified 6 factors with
eigenvalues higher than 1.00 explaining 50.24% of the cu-
mulative variance. Item loadings are presented in Table 2.
The first factor (eigenvalue = 25.49) explained 35.42% of
the variance. The 12 items loading highly on this factor
describe Awkward Behaviors in Embarrassing Situations.
The second factor showed an eigenvalue of 3.22 and ex-
plained 4.47% of the total variance. The 12 high loading
items describe situations of Interaction with the Opposite
Sex. Factor 3 showed an eigenvalue of 2.32 and explained
3.23% of the variance. The items of this factor refer to sit-
uations of Interaction with Strangers. Factor 4, with an ei-
genvalue of 1.98, explained 2.76% of the variance. The
items refer to situations of Criticism and Embarrassment.
Factor 5, with an eigenvalue of 1.67, explained 2.33% of
Factor loadings
Items and name of each factor F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 F6 Item
299. Telling a taxi driver that he/shehas taken an abnormally long route .17 .02 .06 –.06 .55 .00 .548
411. Telling a family member that they are bothering me .32 .06 .05 –.09 .46 –.02 .596
482. Telling someone that their behavior bothers me and askingthem to stop .13 .04 .06 –.07 .56 .01 .549
513. Telling a colleague theyhave done something that bothers me .14 .05 .07 –.08 .55 .01 .554
F6. Speaking/Performing in Public/ Talking with People inAuthority
23. Being asked a question in class by the teacher or by a superior in a meeting –.11 .02 .00 .26 –.10 .65 .503
167. Talking to a famous person or celebrity –.12 .16 .03 .13 .16 .45 .578
194. Having to speak in class, at work, or in a meeting –.11 –.07 .08 .12 .01 .77 .578
195. Being interviewed –.06 –.02 .04 .15 .09 .62 .576
208. Being summoned to speak to my superiors or a person in authority –.09 .16 –.03 .16 .21 .42 .603
249. Participating in a meeting with people in authority .11 .14 .10 –.06 .11 .44 .647
269. Performing in public .29 –.04 .03 –.06 –.08 .60 .577
327. Speaking in public .27 –.02 .08 –.10 –.10 .68 .624
376. Asking questions in class, at a public event or in a crowded meeting .25 –.03 .17 –.10 –.02 .57 .651
401. Starting and maintaining a conversation with people in authority .19 .14 .17 –.15 .13 .39 .680
465. Taking the initiative in front of a group of strangers .46 .03 .12 –.07 .01 .32 .681
476. Making a presentation to people who know more than I do .45 .13 –.09 –.13 .03 .39 .636
Note. Factor loadings of items grouped under each specific factor are marked in bold.
100 V.E. Caballo et al.: Measuring Social Anxiety in 11 Countries
European Journal of Psychological Assessment 2010; Vol. 26(2):95–107 © 2010 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers
the variance and is related to Assertive Expression of An-
noyance, Disgust or Displeasure. Factor 6, with an eigen-
valueof1.46,explained 2.03% of varianceandwasdefined
as Speaking/Performing in Public/Talking with People in
Authority. Interfactor correlations were moderate (range =
.33 to .60) (see Table 6).
Confirmatory Factor Analysis
The resultsobtained through the exploratory factor analysis
were then subjected to confirmatory factor analysis from the
corresponding covariance and asymptotic variance-covari-
ancematricesofitems.Giventhetype of initialdata (ordinal
variables and distributions that did not present multivariate
method was used. The models that we tested included: (1)
single factor, (2) 6 factors, and (3) 6 first-order factors and
one second-order factor. The reasons for including these
der factor explaining social anxiety (e.g., Mattick & Clarke,
1998; Osman et al., 1996) even with Spanish samples (Oli-
vares et al., 2004) while others have found from three to 6
et al., 1997; Safren et al., 1999). Given that a 6-factor struc-
ture was found in our analyses, the 1-factor, 6-factor, and
combined models were tested. Following the recommenda-
tions made by Bentler (1995), a comparison of robust and
nonrobust estimation factors suggested that neither the kur-
tosis nor the skewness of distributions affected the results.
Multivariate kurtosis tests offered the following results: Sri-
vastava’s test: b2p = 3.9672; N(b2p) = 106.583; p=.000.
Mardia’s test:b2p = 787.3477;N(b2p)=254.7749; p=.000.
When the analyses were applied to the transformed scores,
theresultsdidnot differsignificantlyinthethreemodels.The
statistical programs SAS v. 9.1.3 (The SAS Institute, 2006),
PRELIS, v. 2.3 and LISREL, v. 8.8 (Scientific Software In-
ternational, 2006a, 2006b) were used to perform the various
Given that the number of items (72) was very high for
conducting a confirmatory factor analysis, we decided to
use the parceling procedure (Bandalos, 2002; Coffman &
McCallum, 2005; Nasser-Abu Alhija & Wisenbaker, 2006;
Sass & Smith, 2006). Each parcel was formed by the sum
of three items selected at random from every factor. Thus,
a total of 24 parcels were defined as indicators of the 6
latent variables. Before forming the parcels, the unidimen-
sionality of each factor was verified. Furthermore, the re-
liability estimates (Cronbach α) for every group of items
ofthehypothesized6factorsweregood,F1=.92,F2= .92,
F3 = .91, F4 = .86, F5 = .88, and F6 = .91.
The hypotheses tested can be summarized for the three
modelsasfollows: (1) observed responsescanbeexplained
by 1, 6, or 6 first-order factors and 1 second-order factor;
(2) each of the indicators has a loading that is statistically
different from 0 (i.e., tvalues higher than 2.58) in the hy-
pothesized factor and zero loadings in the remaining fac-
tors, and (3) measurement errors associated with the indi-
cators are not correlated with each other.The results of the
contrast comparisons of the three models are summarized
in Table 3.
As can be seen in Table 3, Models 2 (6 correlated fac-
tors) and 3 (6 first-order factors and one second-order fac-
tor) showed a good overall fit, suggesting that the restric-
tions we specified for the models were correct. However,
the fit of Model 2 was slightly better: the RMSEA index
was .063 in Model 2 and .066 in Model 3; indices SRMR
(.036 vs. .043), GFI (.91 vs. .89), NNFI and RFI (.99 vs.
.98) were also better for Model 2. Other indices comparing
the fit of Models 2 and 3, such ascomposite reliability and
average variance extracted (AVE) indicated a similar fit for
both models, although again slightly better for Model 2
than Model 3 (see Table 4). The average interitem correla-
Table 3. Fit indices of the three tested models
Model 1 Model 2 Model 3
#Absolute fit S-Bχ² 51629.98 12746.49 14706.52
p= .000 p= .000 p= .000
DF 252 237 246
GFI .70 .91 .89
SRMR .064 .036 .043
Relative fit NFI .95 .99 .99
NNFI .95 .99 .98
RFI .94 .99 .98
based fit CFI .95 .99 .99
RMSEA .12 .063 .066
RMSEA 90% (.12;.12) (.062; .064) (.065;.067)
PCLOSE .000 .000 .000
Note:RMSEA (root mean square error of approximation): Values less
or equal to .05 indicate close approximate fit; values between .05and
.08 suggest reasonable error of approximation, and values higher or
equal to .10 suggest poor fit. SRMR (standardized root mean square
residual): values less than .10 are generally considered favorable; the
smaller the SRMR, the better the model fit. GFI (goodness of fit in-
dex), CFI (comparative fit index), NNFI (nonnormed fit index,Tuck-
er-Lewis index), and RFI (relative fit index): values higher than .90
indicate good fit. NFI (normed fit Index): values higher than .95 in-
dicate good fit (see Kline, 2005, for a review of all these indices).
Table 4. Composite reliability and average variance ex-
tracted of the three models
Model 1 Model 2 Model 3
ite reli-
AVE Composite
reliability AVE Compos-
ite reli-
Factor 1 .963 .522 .903 .699 .903 .699
Factor 2 .912 .721 .913 .724
Factor 3 .886 .660 .886 .660
Factor 4 .839 .567 .840 .568
Factor 5 .869 .624 .868 .622
Factor 6 .883 .654 .883 .654
Note. AVE = Average variance extracted.
V.E. Caballo et al.: Measuring Social Anxiety in 11 Countries 101
© 2010 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers European Journal of Psychological Assessment 2010; Vol. 26(2):95–107
tion was 0.486 for Factor 1, 0.487 for Factor 2, 0.436 for
Factor 3, 0.337 for Factor 4, 0.382 for Factor 5, and 0.442
for Factor 6. The total average interitem correlation was
0.337. Interfactor correlations were from moderate to rela-
tively high (range = .64 to .84) (see Table 6).
In order to determine discriminant validity, the average
variance extracted (AVE) was compared with the coeffi-
cient of determination (R2) for each couple of latent vari-
ables. All the comparisons (10) carried out showed an AVE
greater than R2. This can be considered as a clear evidence
of discriminant validity since each latent construct must
explain the measures composing it rather than other con-
structs’ measures.
Composite reliability of each of the latent variables
(construct reliability) was calculated through the formula:
where λare the loadings and θis the indicator of error
variances. As Table 4 shows, the composite reliability for
latent variablesinModel 2wasverysimilartothatofMod-
el 3. These results were derived by calculating the average
variance extracted using the following formula:
In Models 2 and 3, the 6 factors showed an AVE greater
than 0.50, so we can therefore conclude that a high amount
of the indicator variance in both models is captured by the
Study 2: Development of the Final
Based on the analysis with the initial scale, we further ex-
amined the psychometric properties of the 72-item scale.
For this purpose, we constructed the Social Anxiety Ques-
tionnaire for Adults Revised (SAQ-AR) (“Cuestionario de
Ansiedad Social para Adultos Revisado”; CASO-AR),
which included the derived 72 randomly distributed items
on a 7-point (1–7) Likert rating scale. Administration in-
structionswerethe same as in theformerversion.The Pear-
son correlation of the SAQ-A (516 items) with the SAQ-
AR (72 items) was r= .98.
Participating Countries and Researchers
Thesamecountries from Study1participated in thissecond
study. However, the number of participating researchers
and subjects differed slightly: The total group of research-
ers in this second study consisted of 103 collaborators from
the same 11 countries. The numbers of researchers (and
groups of research) per country were as follows: Argentina
= 13 collaborators (3 groups of research); Brazil = 13 col-
laborators (5 groups of research); Chile = 6 (3 groups of
research); Colombia = 14 (8 groups of research); Costa Ri-
ca = 3 (2 group of research); Spain = 14 (8 groups of re-
search); Mexico = 24 (12 groups of research); Paraguay =
3 (1 group of research); Peru = 5 (5 groups of research);
Uruguay = 3 (1 group of research); and Venezuela = 5 (3
groups of research).
The procedure was similar to the first study. Collaborators
from each country revised each item of the SAQ-AR to fit
the everyday language of their country and culture. There
was no option to add new items. No significant changes
were made to the 72 items composing the CASO-AR. Data
collection took place over a period of 1 year.
In order to calculate additional psychometric properties
reliability,weselectedsomeself-report instruments usually
employed to assess social phobia/anxiety, such as the SPAI
Table 5. Correlations (Pearson) among the SAQ-AR and its 6 factors with other self-report measures of social anxiety
Questionnaires for assessing social phobia/anxiety
SAQ-AR and its factors SPAI
96 items SPAI
Sp – Ag LSAS
Anxiety LSAS
Avoidance SPIN
F1. Awkward behavior in social embarrassing situations .64 .59 .59 .43 .59
F2. Interactions with the opposite sex .62 .58 .58 .45 .58
F3. Interactions with strangers .75 .75 .62 .44 .64
F4. Criticism and embarrassment .69 .64 .62 .51 .60
F5. Assertive expression of annoyance, disgust or displeasure .49 .44 .50 .39 .48
F6. Speaking/performing in public/ Talking with people in authority .62 .55 .55 .44 .56
Sum of factors score (SAQ-AR) .78 .74 .72 .56 .69
Note: All correlations significant at p< .0001. SPAI = Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory; LSAS = Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale; SPIN =
Social Phobia Inventory. SPAI 96 items = Sum of the score on the 96items of the Social Phobia Subscale without averaging the items with four
subitems; SPAI SP-Ag = Typical scoring procedure of the questionnaire, Social Phobia subscale score – Agoraphobia subscale score.
102 V.E. Caballo et al.: Measuring Social Anxiety in 11 Countries
European Journal of Psychological Assessment 2010; Vol. 26(2):95–107 © 2010 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers
(Turner, Beidel et al., 1989), the LSAS (Liebowitz, 1987),
and the SPIN (Connor et al., 2000).
Participating Subjects
A total of 11,026 subjects participated in the second study.
The mean age of the total sample was 25.65 years (SD =
10.63) and consisted of 5,935 women (mean age = 24.79;
SD = 10.51) and 5,091 men (mean age = 25.81; SD =
10.74). The minimum age for subjects was 16 years, but
there was no upper age limit. Table 1 shows the sex, age,
and number of subjects in the participating countries. The
participants had different levels of education (students,
workers, etc.). Specifically, 22% were psychology stu-
dents, 39.5% were university students with other majors,
14.7% were workers with a university degree, 6.9% were
workers with no university degree, 4.9% were school stu-
dents, and 6.4% could not be includedin any of the former
categories. No data were obtained for the remaining 5.6%
of participants. Missing data were addressed using listwise
deletion, as in the first study, so that the final number of
subjects for factor analysis was 10,118.
Asnotedabove, three self-report measures ofsocialphobia
wereused,togetherwiththe SAQ-AR, to obtain concurrent
validity ratings. The measures were:
a) Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory (SPAI; Turner,
Beidel et al., 1989), a 45-item self-report instrument de-
signed to measure social phobia. Each item is rated for
frequency on a 7-point scale ranging from 0 (never)to6
(always). The inventory consists of 2 subscales: social
phobia(32items)andagoraphobia(13items). However,
18 items of the social phobia subscale have 4 subitems
each, 2 items have 5 subitems each, and 1 item has 3
b) The Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS; Liebowitz,
1987) is a 24-item self-report instrument that assesses
fear and avoidance of specific social situations. Respon-
dents are asked to rate fear on a 4-point scale ranging
from 0 (none)to3(severe) and avoidance on a 4-point
scale ranging from 0 (never) to 3 (usually).
c) TheSocialPhobiaInventory (SPIN; Connor et al.,2000)
is a 17-item questionnaire that assesses symptoms of
socialphobia.Each itemcontainsa symptomthatis rated
by the respondent based on how much he or she was
bothered by the symptom during the prior week on a
5-point scale ranging from 0 (notatall)to4(extremely).
Confirmatory Factor Analysis
The univariate and multivariate normality of indicators
were analyzed using the program PRELIS 2.3 (Scientific
Software International, 2006). As the data did not meet the
condition of multivariate normality (Skewness-z = 79.114,
p= .000; Kurtosis-z = 98.164, p= .000), confirmatory fac-
tor analysis was implemented on variance-covariance and
asymptotic covariance matrices through the robust maxi-
mum likelihood estimation method (RML). The same par-
celing procedure used in Study 1 was implemented in this
Study 2.
Goodness of fit was verified through different absolute,
relative, and noncentrality indices, such as GFI, SRMR,
NFI, NNFI, RFI, CFI, and RMSEA. Acceptable fit was de-
fined by the following criteria: GFI > .90; SRMR < .08;
NFI > .95; NNFI > .95; RFI > .95; CFI > .95; and RMSEA
( < .06 90% CI < .06). Multiple fit indices were used be-
cause they provide us with varied information about model
fit, and, when used together, they provide us with a more
conservative and reliable evaluation of the solution.
The analysis of the SAQ-AR indicated that two models
shouldbetested:(1)Model2, with 6 correlated factors, and
(2) Model 3, with 6 first-order factors and 1 second-order
factor.Consistentwiththepreviousanalyses oftheSAQ-A,
the 6-factor model (GFI = .94; SRMR = .038; NFI = .99;
NNFI = .99; RFI = .99; CFI = .99; RMSEA = .052) pre-
sented a better fit overall than the hierarchical model (GFI
= .88; SRMR = .072; NFI = .98; NNFI = .98; RFI = .98;
CFI = .98; RMSEA = .072).
All freely estimated unstandardized parameters (range
from .64 to .88) were statistically significant (pvalues <
Table 6. Interfactor correlations for exploratory and confir-
matory factor analysis of the abbreviated version
of the SAQ-A
Interfactor correlations for exploratory factor analysis
F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 F6
F1 1.00
F2 0.56 1.00
F3 0.50 0.58 1.00
F4 0.42 0.37 0.33 1.00
F5 0.51 0.49 0.46 0.46 1.00
F6 0.50 0.60 0.51 0.45 0.49 1.00
Interfactor correlations for confirmatory factor analysis
F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 F6
F1 1.00
F2 0.78 1.00
F3 0.72 0.83 1.00
F4 0.80 0.65 0.64 1.00
F5 0.79 0.72 0.74 0.76 1.00
F6 0.83 0.84 0.81 0.77 0.78 1.00
Note: F1. Awkward behavior in social embarrassing situations; F2.
Interactions with the opposite sex; F3. Interactions with strangers; F4.
Criticism and embarrassment; F5. Assertive expression of annoyance,
disgust or displeasure; F6. Speaking/performing in public/Talking
with people in authority.
V.E. Caballo et al.: Measuring Social Anxiety in 11 Countries 103
© 2010 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers European Journal of Psychological Assessment 2010; Vol. 26(2):95–107
.001). Factor loadings estimates showed that indicators
were strongly related to latent variables (R2ranged from
.41 to .77), whereby the indicators used are reliable mea-
sures of the 6 dimensions composing social anxiety in this
study. Finally, as hypothesized, the 6 factors showed posi-
tive and moderately high intercorrelations.
Internal Consistency and Reliability
Internal consistency was calculated via Cronbach’s αfor
every factor (12 items each) and the sum of the factors.
Cronbach’s αwas .89 for Factor 1, .88 for Factor 2, .86 for
Factor 3, .87 for Factor 4, .84 for Factor 5, and .90 for
Factor 6, with an αof .97 for the total scale (SAQ-AR).
The split-half reliability of the SAQ-AR was very good
(Guttman split-half reliability = .973). The average inter-
item correlation was 0.398 for Factor 1, 0.395 for Factor 2,
0.350 for Factor 3, 0.357 for Factor 4, 0.303 for Factor 5,
and 0.420 for Factor 6. The total average interitem corre-
lation was 0.279.
Concurrent Validity
Someofthe most widelyusedquestionnairesfor measuring
social phobia/anxiety were administered together with the
SAQ-AR, including the Social Phobia and Anxiety Inven-
tory (SPAI; Turner, Beidel et al., 1989), the Liebowitz So-
cialAnxietyScale (LSAS; Liebowitz,1987),and the Social
Phobia Inventory (SPIN; Connor et al., 2000). A total of
511 university subjects participated in this part of the study
(135 men with a mean age of 23.00 years and an SD of
6.41, and 376 women with a mean age of 21.55 years and
an SD of 4.68). The average interitem correlation for the
LSAS-Anxiety was 0.27 and the Cronbach α= .90, for the
LSAS-Avoidance .23 and the α= .87, for the SPAI-Social
Phobia Subscale 0.40 and the α= .98, and for the SPIN .38
and the α= .91. Table 5 shows the relationships between
the SAQ-AR and its 6 factors with the scores for the other
threemeasures, specifically the scoreonthe96itemsofthe
Social Phobia subscale of the SPAI without averaging the
items with four subitems (SPAI 96 items), the typical scor-
ing procedure of the SPAI (Social Phobia Subscale score
[32 items] – Agoraphobia Subscale score [13 items]), the
LSAS Anxiety score, the LSAS Avoidance score, and the
SPIN total score. These correlations are moderately high,
particularly with the overall score of the SAQ-AR (from a
low .56 to a high .78) and with some of the factors usually
found in most of the questionnaires, such as Interaction
with Strangers (from .44 to .75), Criticism and Embarrass-
ment (from .51 to .69), and Speaking/Performing in Public
(from .44 to .62). The LSAS Avoidance showed the lowest
correlations with the SAQ-AR and its factors.
This work presents the development and initial psychomet-
ric evaluation of a new questionnaire designed to measure
social phobia/anxiety. Although there are already anumber
of anxiety scales in existence, they all suffer from several
notable weaknesses, not the least of which is the manner in
which their items were generated. Existing measures con-
tain items that were adapted from other measures, adapted
from DSM-III or DSM-IV criteria, or by generating items
based on the opinions of experts without secondary confir-
mation of their validity. By contrast, the present research
applied an objective method to diary-generated items by
asking a large group of diverse participants to record any
socialsituationsthat elicited social anxiety duringtheirdai-
ly lives. Furthermore, in contrast to existing measures, we
recruited a large and culturally diverse sample from Span-
ish- and Portuguese-speaking countries.
Anextensivefirstversion of thequestionnaire,theSAQ-
A, was applied to a large sample of people from 10 Latin-
American countries and Spain. Objective statistical reduc-
tion of the scale produced an instrument with 6 factors and
72 items. Given the item generation procedure and the ro-
bust factor structure observed in large samples, we believe
that our measure adequately describes the structure of so-
cial anxiety among Latin-American and Spanish-speaking
people. Note also that we followed most of the content val-
idation guidelines proposed by some authors (e.g., DeVel-
lis, 2003; Haynes et al., 1995). It remains to be seen wheth-
er the same factor structure will be observed among indi-
viduals with social anxiety disorder (social phobia) and
among people from other countries (e.g., Europe, North
America, etc.).
When comparing the factor structure of the SAQ-AR
and the most used social anxiety instruments (SPAI, LSAS,
SPIN, SIAS, SPS, and BPS), some surprising findings
emerged. Only 2 factors were consistently identified,
namely, Interactions with Strangers and Speaking/Per-
forming in Public. Interestingly, the factor Interaction with
the Opposite Sex was not identified in the factor structure
of any of the popular existing measures. This seems sur-
prising, given the reported centrality of this problem in the
lives of individuals with social anxiety/phobia. Yet, exist-
ing measures include very few, if any, items dealing with
anxiety about social interaction with the opposite sex. For
example, the SPS and SPIN include no items, and the SIAS
and the LSAS include only one item assessing this problem
area. The SPAI includes 17 of the 96 items. However, these
17 items are really subitems grouped in every case with
other three subitems (fear of strangers, people in authority,
and people in general) to give the mean score of 17 “high-
er” items. We understand this to be a limitation of the scor-
ing procedure of the SPAI. A better approach might have
been to consider each subitem as an independent item rath-
er than averaging different items prior to calculating a
score. This method would be more likely to result in a sep-
104 V.E. Caballo et al.: Measuring Social Anxiety in 11 Countries
European Journal of Psychological Assessment 2010; Vol. 26(2):95–107 © 2010 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers
arate factor of Interactions with the Opposite Sex,aswe
have found in a recent study with almost 1,000 people (Ca-
ballo & Nobre, 2009).
Another factor that only infrequently appears in other
instrumentsisAssertiveExpressionof Annoyance, Disgust,
or Displeasure. The SPIN, SPAI, and SPS do not include
any items dealing with this issue, and the SIAS has only
one item. Only the LSAS includes a few items on asser-
tiveness. Again, this is surprising given the centrality of
assertivenessissuesin social anxiety.Forinstance,Caballo,
Olivares, López-Gollonet, Irurtia, and Rosa (2003) found
moderate relationships between social phobia/anxiety
(measured with the SPAI, the LSAS, the SPS, and the
SIAS) and assertiveness (measured with the College Self-
Expression Scale, CSES; Galassi, DeLo, Galassi, & Bas-
tien, 1974). Specifically, they found relationships as high
as–.57between the CSESandthe SPAI-SocialPhobia Sub-
scale, –.61 with the SIAS, –0.59 with the LSAS-Anxiety,
and –0.58 with the LSAS-Avoidance.
Finally, factors related to Embarrassing Situations (Fac-
tors 1 and 4) are usually overrepresented in existing ques-
tionnaires, even if they usually differ in their names. Al-
though the fear of being observed is an important central
concern among individuals with social phobia, existing
measures seem to overemphasize this issue while omitting
other problem areas. For example, most of the items of the
SPS and the SPIN deal with the fear of embarrassing situ-
In addition to the goal of deriving an objectively gener-
ated measure of social anxiety,a second goal was to create
a measure with cross cultural relevance to Spain and Latin
America. Indeed, this was necessary because there are cer-
tain social situations included in most of the existing self-
report instruments that may not apply to Spain and Latin-
American countries. For instance, the situation “drinking
in public” does not seem to be a typical concern among
socially anxious individuals in those countries. The rela-
tionship between this single item and the total score of the
questionnaire is one of the lowest correlations (r= .27) for
any of the items on the SAQ-A. People from Latin-Amer-
ican countries spend a significant part of their leisure time
out of their homes at night, sitting outside or in bars, drink-
ing in public. Therefore, drinking in public is rarely a prob-
lem, even among socially phobic individuals. A greater
problem in those cultures is not having any friends with
whomtoengageinthisactivity.Wedo not think items such
as drinking in public reflect a representative behavior of
sociallyanxiouspeopleinthe countries participating in this
study. Similar concerns can be raised with a few other
items, such as using public bathrooms. It is our impression
that paruresis is not a significant problem in Spanish and
Latin-American cultures. However, this issue awaits fur-
ther empirical studies.
With regard to the psychometric data of the new ques-
tionnaire, we found high internal consistency (Cronbach’s
α= .96) and split-half (Guttman = .97) reliability for the
SAQ-AR (72 items). Concurrent validity was also good as
shown by high correlations with the SPAI (.74),the LSAS
(.72), and the SPIN (.69). The 6 factors of the SAQ-AR
further showed moderate correlations with these measures,
ranging from .44 to .75. Even factors that did not corre-
spond to any of the existing questionnaires, such as Inter-
actions with the Opposite Sex and Assertive Expression of
Annoyance, Disgust, or Displeasure showed correlations
ranging from .44 to .62, indicating that our scale measured
areas of social anxiety that the other scales might miss. The
lowest correlation was always with the Avoidance scale of
the LSAS. However, as Heimberg et al. (1999) noted, fear
and avoidance ratings do not seem to measure distinct con-
structs. Furthermore, Oakman et al. (2003) questioned the
distinction between the fear and avoidance subscale.
There are limitations of the present study. For instance,
it might have been useful to report reliability estimates for
the parcels used in confirmatory factor analysis. However,
the small number of items in each parcel does not favor
high reliability. Another limitation may be that, although
we described some of the weaknesses of the habitual mea-
sures used in the current assessment of social phobia/anx-
iety at the beginning of this study, we used several of them
to obtain the concurrent validity of the SAQ-AR. Those
measures of social phobia/anxiety might appraise this con-
struct globally, particularly generalized social phobia (and
this was correct as measures for the concurrent validity of
the SAQ-AR), but they do not capture all the dimensions
of social phobia/anxiety, and some discrete social phobias
may not be correctly identified.
Although the SAQ-AR is highly promising, additional
information is needed, especially in terms of its utility in
clinical samples. The clinical data should help to focus on
discriminant items in order to identify individuals with so-
are particularly interested in detecting individuals with cir-
cumscribed social phobia, a task not well accomplished by
existing self-report measures (Bhogal & Baldwin, 2007).
Further research should also focus on the stability of the
factorstructurereportedhere. Finally,theapplication of the
SAQ-AR as a pre- or posttreatment measure should further
validate its usefulness in the clinical arena.
Thisstudywasmadepossible by a grant from Spain’sMin-
istry of Science and Technology awarded to the research
project with reference BSO2003-07029/PSCE and cofi-
nanced by the European Regional Development Fund
(ERDF). Stefan G. Hofmann is supported by a grant from
the National Institute of Mental Health (MH075889) and
is a consultant for Organon.
We heartily appreciate the collaboration of all the sub-
jects from the different countries who voluntarily partici-
pated in this study.
The CISO-A Research Team, co-author of this article, is
composed of the following researchers: Argentina: G. Bra-
V.E. Caballo et al.: Measuring Social Anxiety in 11 Countries 105
© 2010 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers European Journal of Psychological Assessment 2010; Vol. 26(2):95–107
gagnolo, A. Ciliberti, M. Correche, L. Gómez, R. Gómez,
M.Granero,M.Milanesio, M. Pinto, F.Rivarola, P. Robles,
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G. Vila, V. Vega. Paraguay: A. Caballero, R. Estigarribia,
S. Martínez. Peru: A. Barreda, J. Montero, M. Salazar, C.
Segura,C.Velásquez. Uruguay: M. Golberg, M. Lagos, M.
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Vicente E.Caballo
Faculty of Psychology
University of Granada
E-18071 Granada
Tel./Fax +34 958 125 927
V.E. Caballo et al.: Measuring Social Anxiety in 11 Countries 107
© 2010 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers European Journal of Psychological Assessment 2010; Vol. 26(2):95–107
... Esto podría acarrear problemas de representatividad de las situaciones sociales que se incluyen en los cuestionarios cuando son aplicados en países de habla española y portuguesa. Un ejemplo de ello son las situaciones sociales incluidas en la mayoría de los cuestionarios de origen anglosajón, como "Beber en lugares públicos", "Utilizar urinarios públicos" o "Escribir mientras te están observando", que no parecen ser especialmente relevantes en el ámbito latinoamericano (Caballo et al., 2010(Caballo et al., , 2012. Por otra parte, situaciones sociales que juegan un papel central al evaluar la ansiedad social en el ámbito latino, como son las que tienen que ver con la "interacción con el sexo opuesto", apenas están representadas en la mayoría de los cuestionarios tradicionales. ...
... Una posible explicación a estos hallazgos podría ser que la puntuación global de los cuestionarios enmascararía las diferencias que se podrían dar en algunos tipos de situaciones sociales entre hombres y mujeres adultos. Las diferencias asociadas al sexo sobre las que se ha informado en España así como a nivel global en los países iberoamericanos aunque pequeñas, indican que las mismas se dan en algunas dimensiones de la ansiedad social, pero no en otras (Caballo et al., 2008(Caballo et al., , 2015Caballo, Salazar, Irurtia, et al., 2010). ...
... El "Cuestionario de ansiedad social para para adultos" (CASO) parecería superar algunos de estos problemas (Caballo et al., 2012;Caballo, Salazar, Arias, et al., 2010;Caballo et al., 2015), especialmente en muestras globales de Iberoamérica, pero también en México (Caballo, Salazar, Robles, Irurtia, & Equipo de Investigación CISO-A México, 2016) y Colombia (Salazar, Caballo, Arias, & Equipo de Investigación CISO-A Colombia, 2016). El objetivo de este trabajo se centra en analizar la estructura interna del CASO para una muestra de sujetos chilenos, su validez convergente y las posibles diferencias asociadas al sexo en ansiedad social. ...
... Uma proposta de THS grupal com uma amostra de 22 acadêmicos com sintomas de ansiedade social, provenientes de diversos cursos de uma universidade privada, foi conduzida ao longo de 10 sessões, com periodicidade semanal. Os instrumentos utilizados foram: Questionário de Ansiedade Social para Adultos/CASO (Caballo, Salazar, Irurtia, Arias, & Hofmann, 2010a;Caballo, Salazar, Arias, Irurtia, & Calderero, 2010b;Wagner, Moraes, Oliveira, & Oliveira, 2017), Escala de Ansiedade Social Liebowitz (Terra et al, 2006), Inventários de Depressão (BDI) e de Ansiedade (e BAI) de Beck (Cunha, 2001). A comparação dos resultados pré e pós intervenção apontou que os participantes tiveram uma melhora significativa nos sintomas de ansiedade social (Pureza, Rusch, Wagner, & Oliveira, 2012). ...
... Outro programa de intervenção de HS foi descrito com 32 estudantes do curso de Psicologia, em 10 sessões, no qual foram abordados temas como manejo da ansiedade, assertividade, técnicas de relaxamento, relações interpessoais, falar em público e expressão de sentimentos (Wagner, Pereira, & Oliveira, 2014). Os resultados mostraram que mudanças significativas foram produzidas nas medidas pós-tratamento, em comparação com as medidas pré-tratamento, nos escores globais e nas cinco dimensões do CASO (Caballo et al., 2010a(Caballo et al., , 2010bWagner et al., 2017). Os achados permitiram afirmar que o programa de THS foi eficaz para diminuir a ansiedade social dos universitários, mostrando diferenças na média grupal após a intervenção, tanto do escore total, quanto dos 5 fatores do instrumento, em comparação com os resultados obtidos no início do programa. ...
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Habilidades sociais (HS) podem ser compreendidas como classes de comportamentos no repertório do indivíduo para lidar de maneira adequada com as situações interpessoais, sendo um construto teórico vinculado ao modelo comportamental. Este estudo tem por objetivo relatar a experiência de um estágio curricular em Psicologia que teve foco no desenvolvimento de habilidades sociais em 32 estudantes, sendo 12 alunos de Ensino Médio e 20 de Educação de Jovens e Adultos (EJA). O intuito dos grupos foi promover habilidades comunicacionais mais eficazes e prevenir conflitos. Foram realizados seis encontros, um por semana com cada turma, no turno da noite, com a duração média de 45 minutos cada encontro. As intervenções foram por meio de diálogos, utilização de recursos audiovisuais, dinâmicas e dramatizações. A partir das intervenções propostas, buscou-se possibilitar o desenvolvimento de comportamentos mais assertivos dos alunos em sala de aula, por meio da expressão de seus pensamentos e sentimentos de forma clara, preservando os direitos dos outros e sem prejudicar aos seus próprios direitos, a fim de diminuir os conflitos e melhorar as relações interpessoais. Os resultados apontaram para a melhoria das relações interpessoais no ambiente escolar, conforme observação do comportamento e relato dos próprios alunos e professores. Palavras-chaves: Psicologia escolar; Relações interpessoais; Habilidades sociais.
... However, if we focus on the only different social anxiety dimension between children and adults ("Performing in public"), we find that the relationship between "Performing in public" and "Speaking in public/Talking to teachers" is low (.23). For children, these are very different kinds of situations (while in adults performing and speaking in public load in the same dimension (Caballo et al. 2010b(Caballo et al. , 2012c). As we have already indicated, speaking in public may be a type of performance for adults, while for children it is not. ...
... While, in general, social anxiety decreases with age both in boys and girls globally and on most dimensions of social anxiety, performing in public seems a particular kind of situation for girls that increases with age. Further studies are needed to confirm the results with this last dimension, particularly because this dimension is the only one (out of the six) that is not found in adult samples (Caballo et al. 2010b(Caballo et al. , 2012c(Caballo et al. , 2015a) (see discussion above). ...
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This study describes a series of exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses that were conducted with the 44-item Social Anxiety Questionnaire for Children- 4th version (SAQ-CIV) to identify a reduced set of items that might be used to construct a new abbreviated instrument for measuring social anxiety in children and adolescents. The fourth version of the Social Anxiety Questionnaire for Children (SAQ-CIV) was administered to 12,801 non-clinical participants (ages 9 to 15 years) from 12 Latin American countries and Spain. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis supported a 6-factor structure of social anxiety in children, replicating a similar structure to that of adults (Caballo et al. in Behavioral Psychology/Psicología Conductual, 18(1), 5–34, 2010; Caballo et al. in Behavior Therapy, 43(2), 313–328, 2012): 1) Interactions with the opposite sex, 2) Criticism and embarrassment, 3)Speaking in public/Talking to teachers, 4) Assertive expression of annoyance and disgust, 5) Performing in public, and 6) Interactions with strangers. Each of the factors contains 4 items, yielding an abbreviated 24-item instrument, the Social Anxiety Questionnaire for Children (SAQ-C). The present results suggest this is a reliable, valid, and culturally sensitive instrument to assess social anxiety in youth.
... Its score ranges from 0 to 68, which was rated from 0 (not at all) to 4 (extremely) [22]. Social phobia inventory scale validated in different countries among adults and adolescents [23,24]. ...
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bjective Social phobia is highly prevalent among university students. The lowest and highest point prevalence of social phobia among undergraduate university students was estimated at 7.8% and 80%, respectively. However, research into social phobia and associated factors among undergraduate university students in low and middle-income countries has been limited. Therefore, this study aimed to assess social phobia and associated factors among university students in Ethiopia to contribute an attempt to ensure optimal care for students. Result A total of 503 participants were interviewed with a response rate of 100%. The mean age of the respondents was 22.17 (± 10) years. The prevalence of social phobia symptoms among students was found to be 31.2% with (95% CI 27.3 to 35.6%). In the multivariable analysis, poor social support (AOR = 2.8, 95% CI 1.40, 5.60), female sex (AOR = 2.3; 95% CI 1.50, 3.60), 1st-year students (AOR = 5.5; 95% CI 1.80, 17.20), and coming from a rural residence (AOR = 1.6; 95% CI 1.00, 2.40) were factors significantly associated with social phobia symptoms.
... Para obtenção das características sociodemográficas da amostra foi utilizada uma ficha de dados sociodemográficos. Os demais instrumentos foram: CASO-A30 (Caballo et al., 2010a(Caballo et al., e 2010b, validado para a população brasileira por Wagner (2011), se caracteriza como um questionário autoaplicável que tem como objetivo identificar as situações sociais que mais geram ansiedade no indivíduo respondente. É uma escala do tipo Likert com 5 pontos que variam entre nenhum ou muito pouco, pouco, médio, bastante e muito ou Com relação aos resultados obtidos com o IHS-Del-Prette, os escores médios da amostra estão dentro dos valores esperados, não apresentando déficits, como pode ser visto na Tabela 4. Porém, ao analisar-se individualmente os resultados e observando a distribuição de déficits nas HS pela amostra, pode-se observar que, a partir do escore total, 36,2% (n = 25) da amostra apresentam níveis de habilidades sociais abaixo da média, e desses, 14,5% (n = 10) apresentam níveis de habilidades sociais abaixo do esperado, o que pode interferir no funcionamento social desses jovens. ...
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Social anxiety and deficits in social skills can prejudice the practice of psychology, since this profession is based on the professional relationship established between the psychologist and his patients. This study aim to evaluate students of psychology in relation to these factors. Participated in the study 69 students from two private universities in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil who answered a sociodemographic questionnaire, the IHS-Del-Prette and CASO-A30 scales. The results indicated that 23% of students present evidences of Social Phobia Disorder and 43.5% have deficits in social skills in at least one of the factors evaluated by IHS -Del-Prette, and, Self-affirmation in the expression of positive feelings and Self-affirmation and Coping with risk (F2 and F1 respectively) were the factors with more students with deficits scores. The results show that many students have difficulties and the need for greater attention by universities in the development of social skills and strategies to coping with social anxiety in these future psychologists.
Accurate assessment is crucial for determining appropriate therapeutic interventions for social anxiety and conducting sound clinical research. While self-report measures of social anxiety are widely used in both research and clinical settings, they have several drawbacks inherent to their textual nature. Here, we describe the development and initial validation of the Visual Social Anxiety Scale (VSAS), a novel picture-based self-report measure of social anxiety, based on the well-established widely-used Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS). Specifically, the 24 items of the LSAS were used as the basis for social situations to be included in the VSAS. First, pictures to serve as VSAS items were selected using a rigorous two-phase process (four pilot studies; n=225). Next, reliability (internal consistency, test-retest) and validity (convergent, discriminant) were explored with new participants (n=304) who completed the VSAS and a battery of additional self-report questionnaires, delivered in a random order. The VSAS was completed again a month later (n=260/304). The VSAS showed high internal consistency and test-retest reliability, and good convergent and discriminant validities. VSAS correlations with convergent measures were significantly greater than its correlations with discriminant measures. Thus, the VSAS shows initial promise as a novel picture-based self-report measure of social anxiety. Data Availability The data that support the findings of this study, as well as the 24 VSAS single items, are openly available in Open Science Foundation (OSF) at
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This study investigated Terrorism Cognition and Violent Extremism as influenced by Cultural Orientation and Social Anxiety in Nigerian, using 200 Northern Nigerian Samples, and 200 Eastern Nigerian Samples. Design was cross-sectional, with MANOVA and descriptive statistics. Findings: Terrorism Cognition, and Violent Extremism are significantly influenced by Cultural Orientation, and Social Anxiety, which differ significantly for Eastern and Northern Nigerian samples; Terrorism cognition as significantly influenced by Cultural Orientation (P≤ .05≥ .015 & .019; P≤ .001 ≥ .000), and Social Anxiety (p≤ .05≥ .038 & .014; p≤ .001 ≥ .000) is above average for Northern samples, but below average for Eastern samples; Knowledge of Violent Extremism as significantly influenced by Cultural Orientation (P≤ .05≥ .036), and Social Anxiety (P≤ .05≥ .021 & .015) is above average for Eastern samples, but below average for Northern samples. Recommendation: Counter-terrorism and anti-terrorism policies in Nigeria should incorporate rebranding cultural and social values (systems). KEYWORDS: terrorism-cognition, violent-extremism, cultural-orientation, social-anxiety, cross-cultural, Nigeria
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Terrorism and violent extremism as influence by cultural orientation and social anxiety, using Nigeria as focus of study.
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Structural equation modeling allows several methods of estimating the disattenuated association between 2 or more latent variables (i.e., the measurement model). In one common approach, measurement models are specified using item parcels as indicators of latent constructs. Item parcels versus original items are often used as indicators in these contexts to avoid estimation problems or solve issues associated with multivariate normality of the data. One concern associated with the use of item parceling is that no single "correct" approach exists to construct the parcels. Despite the controversy associated with selecting the most appropriate parceling method, less is understood with regard to how these methods influence the structural or path coefficients. By means of simulated and empirical data, this article addresses some commonly used strategies to model disattenuated structural coefficients between latent variables. Results revealed that when a single unidimensional scale is used to represent a latent construct, the use of individual items, item parcels, or an appropriate representation of measurement error through a single observed variable all will result in identical disattenuated structural coefficient estimates. Implications for the future of item parceling are discussed.
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The development, reliability, and discriminative ability of a new instrument to assess social phobia are presented. The Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory (SPAI) is an empirically derived instrument incorporating responses from the cognitive, somatic, and behavioral dimensions of social fear. The SPAI high test–retest reliability and good internal consistency. The instrument appears to be sensitive to the entire continuum of socially anxious concerns and is capable of differentiating social phobics from normal controls as well as from other anxiety patients. The utility of this instrument for improved assessment of social phobia and anxiety and its use as an aid for treatment planning are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This article examines the definition, importance, conceptual basis, and functional nature of content validity, with an emphasis on psychological assessment in clinical situations. The conditional and dynamic nature of content validity is discussed, and multiple elements of content validity along with quantitative and qualitative methods of content validation are reviewed. Finally, several recommendations for reporting and interpreting content validation evidence are offered. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Social phobia is becoming increasingly recognized as an important disorder among adolescents. The body of research on assessment measures in adolescents with social phobia has grown considerably. Unfortunately, little is known about the relationship among these measures and its invariance across clinical and community samples. The objective of the present study is to examine this issue. Results show that all of these measures are invariant among samples and assess a single higher-order factor, labeled as "social anxiety," although each measure appears to tap a specific symptom (cognitive, behavioral, and somatic). Further, results do support the Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory (SPAI) and the Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents (SAS-A) as first-line assessment measures for adolescents' social anxiety. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The Social Phobia Inventory (SPIN; Connor et al., 2000) is a self-report measure assessing fear, avoidance, and physiological symptoms associated with social anxiety. To date, the psychometric properties of this English-language measure have been examined primarily in individuals with social phobia. This study examined the psychometric properties of the English SPIN and a newly developed French version of the SPIN in nonclinical groups of undergraduate students. The SPIN, along with several other questionnaires, was completed by 202 English-speaking and 222 French-speaking participants in their respective languages from three different universities. A subset of participants completed the questionnaire a second time approximately one month later to assess test-retest reliability. The SPIN total score exhibited excellent internal consistency and test-retest reliability, as well as strong convergent and divergent validity in both English and French. A revised confirmatory factor analysis suggested the three-factor model of the SPIN was a good fit in French and English; however, the psychometric properties of the fear, avoidance, and physiology subscales were not as strong as those of the total score of the SPIN. The excellent psychometric properties of the English and French SPIN total score support the use of this measure not only in clinical populations, but now also in a nonclinical student sample. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)