Developing a Brief Version of the Social Thoughts and Beliefs Scale (STABS) Using Item Response Theory
Cognitions play a central role in the maintenance of social anxiety disorder (SAD). The aim of the present study was to develop a brief version of the social thoughts and beliefs scale (STABS) that can be used in clinical trials and experience sampling studies in which multiple repeated measures (e.g., weekly or daily measurements) are utilized. Our sample (n = 361) included both individuals diagnosed with SAD (n = 108) and non-anxious controls (n = 253). We used item response theory analyses to examine items of the STABS and kept only items which differentiated between 4 levels of SAD-related cognitions between the 5th and 95th percentiles of scores. This strategy resulted in a brief, seven-item scale—the mini-STABS. We then compared the mini-STABS with the full-length, 21-item STABS, as well as examined convergent and divergent validity for the brief measure. Results indicated that the mini-STABS was highly correlated with the 21-item STABS, and demonstrated similar patterns of associations with convergent and divergent measures compared to the 21-item STABS. These findings suggest that the mini-STABS is a psychometrically sound brief version of the STABS that provides similar information using fewer items. Implications for assessment of SAD are discussed.
KeywordsSocial anxiety disorder (SAD) Cognitions Social thoughts and beliefs scale (STABS) Item response theory (IRT)
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Authors Itamar Stein, Maya Asher, Shahaf Erez, Tomer Shechner, Sofi Marom, Haggai Hermesh and Idan M. Aderka declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
All procedures performed in the present study received the approval of the University of Haifa’s IRB and are consistent with APA ethical guidelines. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
No animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article.
- American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders DSM-IV-TR (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publication.Google Scholar
- Beck, A. T., Steer, R. A., & Brown, G. K. (1996b). Beck depression inventory II manual. San Antonio: The Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
- Clark, D. M. (2001). A cognitive perspective on social phobia. In W. R. Crozier & L. E. Alden (Eds.), The essential handbook of social anxiety for clinicians (pp. 193–218). New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
- Clark, D. M., & Wells, A. (1995). A cognitive model of social phobia. In R. G. Heimberg, M. Liebowitz, D. A. Hope & F. R. Schneier (Eds.), Social phobia: Diagnosis, assessment, and treatment (pp. 69–93). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Fresco, D. M., Coles, M. E., Heimberg, R. G., Liebowitz, M. R., Hami, S., Stein, M. B., & Goetz, D. (2001). The Liebowitz social anxiety scale: A comparison of the psychometric properties of self-report and clinician-administered formats. Psychological Medicine, 31(06), 1025–1035..CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Gros, D. F., & Sarver, N. W. (2014). An investigation of the psychometric properties of the social thoughts and beliefs scale (STABS) and structure of cognitive symptoms in participants with social anxiety disorder and healthy controls. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 28(3), 283–290..CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Moscovitch, D. A., Orr, E., Rowa, K., Reimer, S. G., & Antony, M. M. (2009). In the absence of rose-colored glasses: Ratings of self-attributes and their differential certainty and importance across multiple dimensions in social phobia. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 47(1), 66–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ramsay, J. O. (2000). TestGraf: A program for the graphical analysis of multiple choice test and questionnaire data.Google Scholar
- Rodebaugh, T. L., Woods, C. M., Thissen, D. M., Heimberg, R. G., Chambless, D. L., & Rapee, R. M. (2004). More information from fewer questions: The factor structure and item properties of the original and brief fear of negative evaluation scale. Psychological Assessment, 16(2), 169–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Samejima, F. (1969). Estimation of latent ability using a response pattern of graded scores. Psychometrika monograph supplement.Google Scholar
- Sheehan, D., Lecrubier, Y., Sheehan, K. H., Sheehan, K., Amorim, P., Janavs, J., … Dunbar, G. (1998). Diagnostic psychiatric interview for DSM-IV and ICD-10. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 59, 22–33.Google Scholar
- Sprinkle, S. D., Lurie, D., Insko, S. L., Atkinson, G., Jones, G. L., Logan, A. R., & Bissada, N. N. (2002). Criterion validity, severity cut scores, and test-retest reliability of the Beck depression inventory-II in a university counseling center sample. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 49(3), 381–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Thissen, D. (1991). MULTILOG user’s guide: Multiple, categorical item analysis and test scoring using item response theory. Chicago: Scientific Software International.Google Scholar