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Measurement invariance and test-retest reliability of the SCARED questionnaire: examining parent and child report of anxiety symptoms

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 — Poster Session I

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
FAES Terrace


  • BM Behrens
  • CE Swetlitz
  • K Kircanski
  • DS Pine
  • D Pagliaccio


The Screen for Child Anxiety Related Disorders (SCARED) is a questionnaire measure widely used to assess childhood anxiety based on parent and child report. However, while the SCARED is a reliable, valid, and sensitive measure to screen for pediatric anxiety disorders (Birmaher et al., 1997, 1999; Hale et al., 2005), informant discrepancy can pose clinical and research challenges (De Los Reyes, 2013). By examining measurement invariance of the SCARED between parent-child dyads and between age groups, the present study aims to explore psychometric factors that may influence informant discrepancies. Participants included 1,092 parent-child dyads. Child participants were aged 7 to 18 and included both treatment-seeking anxious patients and healthy volunteers. We conducted one longitudinal and two multi-group invariance models in Mplus (Muthén & Muthén, 2010; Muthén & Asparouhov, 2002) to explore how informant (parent vs. child), and age of the child at completion related to item interpretation. Additionally, analyses examined the test-retest reliability of parent and child report on the SCARED as well. Our results indicated that the SCARED shows strict measurement invariance, as evidenced by small changes in CFA model fit, suggesting similar factor loadings, thresholds, and residuals across informant, and age of child. Evidence of measurement invariance informs the interpretation of the SCARED, suggesting it is appropriate to compare values across groups. Reliability analyses also indicated good to moderate test-retest reliability. These findings support the use of the SCARED in both research and clinical settings

Category: Social and Behavioral Sciences