Brief Report: Testing the psychometric properties of the Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale (SCAS) and the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED) in autism spectrum disorder

Sophie Carruthers, Rachel Kent, Matthew J. Hollocks, Emily Simonoff

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Anxiety is a prevalent and impairing co-morbidity among individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), yet assessment measures, including screening tools, are seldom validated with autism samples. We explored the psychometric properties of the child and parent reports of the Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale (SCAS) and the Screen for Anxiety Related Disorder-71 (SCARED-71) with 49 males with ASD (10–16 years, 63% co-occurring anxiety). Both measures had excellent internal consistency and fair-good parent–child agreement. The SCAS has a higher proportion of items evaluating observable behaviors. Predictive power of the measures did not differ. Higher cut-points in the parent reports (SCARED only) and lower cut-points in the child reports may enhance prediction in this sample. Choice of measure and cut-points should be considered alongside intended purpose.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2625–2632
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number7
Early online date17 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Anxiety
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Psychometrics
  • Screening tools

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