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.