Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale – Child (SCAS-Child)

Description
The SCAS Child Version is a 45-item self-report scale used to assess severity of anxiety symptoms in children aged 8-15 years. This measure assesses six domains of anxiety which constitute six subscales: separation anxiety, social phobia, obsessive compulsive problems, panic/agoraphobia, generalised anxiety/overanxious symptoms and fears of physical injury. The SCAS Child Version is not designed to be used as a diagnostic tool in isolation, but it can be used in clinical and non-clinical settings to evaluate the impact of anxiety interventions over time.

Validity
The SCAS Child Version has been validated in a sample of Australian children (N = 218) by Spence (1998). The SCAS demonstrated convergent validity with other measures of child anxiety, and discriminant validity with a measure of child depressive symptoms. The same study also showed significantly higher SCAS scores on all six subscales among clinically anxious children than those in a non-clinical control group.

For comprehensive information visit the Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale website at: www.scaswebsite.com

Interpretation
Scores consist of a total raw score (range from 0 to 114) and six sub-scale scores, with higher scores indicating greater severity of anxiety symptoms. These scores are also converted into percentiles based on age and gender from normative samples reported on www.scaswebsite.com. A percentile score more than 84 for any subscale score or the total SCAS score indicates clinically significant anxiety symptoms.

Sub-scales are computed by summing the following items:

  • Separation anxiety 5, 8, 12, 15, 16, 44
  • Social phobia 6, 7, 9, 10, 29, 35
  • Obsessive compulsive 14, 19, 27, 40, 41, 42
  • Panic/agoraphobia 13, 21, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 37, 39
  • Physical Injury 2, 18, 23, 25, 33
  • Generalised anxiety 1, 3, 4, 20, 22, 24

Items that are not scored in either the total score or the sub-scale scores are:
11, 17, 26, 31, 38, 43, 45 and 46. They are not scored because they did not meet sufficient psychometric requirements.

Developer
Spence, S.H. (1997). Structure of anxiety symptoms among children: A confirmatory factor-analytic study. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 106(2), 280-297.