Psychometric properties of the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED): a replication study

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1999 Oct;38(10):1230-6. doi: 10.1097/00004583-199910000-00011.


Objective: To replicate and extend work on the psychometric properties of the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED), a child and parent self-report instrument used to screen for children with anxiety disorders.

Method: The 41-item version of the SCARED was administered to a new sample of 190 outpatient children and adolescents and 166 parents. The internal consistency, discriminant, and convergent validity were assessed. In addition, using discriminant function analysis, a briefer version of the SCARED was developed.

Results: Using item analyses and factor analyses on the 41-item version, 5 factors were obtained: panic/somatic, generalized anxiety, separation anxiety, social phobia, and school phobia. In general, the total score and each of the 5 factors for both the child and parent SCARED demonstrated good internal consistency and discriminant validity (both between anxiety and depressive and disruptive disorders and within anxiety disorders). A reduced version of the SCARED yielded 5 items and showed similar psychometrics to the full SCARED.

Conclusions: In a new sample, the authors replicated their initial psychometric findings that the SCARED is a reliable and valid instrument to screen for childhood anxiety disorders in clinical settings. Furthermore, pending future research, the 5-item SCARED appears to be a promising brief screening inventory for anxiety disorders in epidemiological studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Child
  • Conduct Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Humans
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results