Measuring anxiety in children: the importance of separate mother and father reports

Mélou Jansen, Denise H M Bodden, Peter Muris, Marleen van Doorn, Isabela Granic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Previous research suggests that it is important to use parental reports when assessing children's anxiety, but it remains unclear to what extent there are differences between mothers' and fathers' scores and whether these potential differences have any repercussions for the psychometric properties of the scale being used.

OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted to investigate parental differences on the Parent version of the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders-Revised (SCARED-RP), a rating scale for measuring child anxiety symptoms. The second aim was to re-examine the reliability and validity of the SCARED-RP, in light of these possible differences.

METHODS: The SCARED-RP and the Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL) were administered to parents of clinically anxious children (n = 81), and control children (n = 108). All children (n = 189) completed the SCARED-R.

RESULTS: Significant correlations between mother and father reports were found within the clinically anxious sample. Mothers showed significantly more correspondence with their children in the control group than fathers. The SCARED-RP internal consistency on total scale was excellent (mothers: .94; fathers: .94) and moderate to good for all subscales (from .66 Situational-Environmental Phobia to .93 Animal Phobia). The SCARED-RP differentiated well between clinically anxious and control children (mother and father data). The concurrent validity was supported by strong correlations with the CBCL anxious-depressed scale.

CONCLUSION: Differences between mother and father reports suggest the importance of obtaining information from both parents separately. Furthermore, the SCARED-RP is a useful instrument for assessing children's anxiety disorder symptoms in clinical and research settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-659
Number of pages17
JournalChild & Youth Care Forum
Volume46
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

Keywords

  • Journal Article
  • PSYCHOMETRIC PROPERTIES
  • Scared
  • REVISED VERSION
  • Anxiety disorders
  • BEHAVIOR
  • Assessment
  • Psychometrics
  • DISORDERS SCARED-R
  • AGREEMENT
  • CHILDHOOD
  • DISCREPANCIES
  • SCREEN
  • TRIPARTITE MODEL
  • PARENT-REPORT
  • Children
  • Parent report

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