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Do childhood anxiety measures measure anxiety?

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Abstract

The Fear Survey Schedule for Children-Revised (FSSC-R), Revised-Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale (RCMAS), and the Modified State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children (STAIC-M) are three widely used self-report measures of childhood anxiety. While previous studies have established the reliability of these measures, their validity in discriminating anxious from non-anxious youngsters remains to be established. The present study examines the discriminant validity of the three measures by comparing clinic referred samples of boys with an anxiety disorder (n=105) or ADHD (n=59) with a community sample of never-psychiatrically-ill boys (n=49). Results indicated that the two patient groups differed significantly from the never-psychiatrically-ill group on the RCMAS and STAIC-M, but the anxious and ADHD groups did not differ from each other. None of the three groups differed on the FSSC-R. The implications of these findings for the assessment of childhood anxiety disorders are discussed.

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Correspondence to Cynthia G. Last.

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Perrin, S., Last, C.G. Do childhood anxiety measures measure anxiety?. J Abnorm Child Psychol 20, 567–578 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00911241

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Keywords

  • Patient Group
  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Discriminant Validity
  • Community Sample
  • Anxiety Scale