Attentional Control Scale for Children: Factor Structure and Concurrent Validity Among Children and Adolescents Referred for Anxiety Disorders

J Clin Psychol. 2017 Apr;73(4):489-499. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22346. Epub 2016 Jul 26.


Objective: The present study examined the factor structure and concurrent validity of the Attentional Control Scale for Children (ACS-C; Muris, de Jong, & Engelen, 2004), a youth self-rating scale of attentional control.

Method: A multisource assessment approach was used with 186 children and adolescents referred to an anxiety disorders specialty clinic.

Results: Exploratory factor analysis yielded a 2-factor structure with internally consistent and moderately correlated subscales of Attentional Focusing and Attentional Shifting. Total ACS-C and subscale scores demonstrated significant associations with youth and parent ratings of youth anxiety symptoms, youth self ratings of depressive symptoms, and youth diagnosis of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.

Conclusions: These findings support use of the ACS-C as a self-rating scale of attentional control among referred youth. Future research is encouraged to examine retest reliability of the ACS-C and to evaluate whether its internal structure could be enhanced by removing or modifying items that performed poorly.

Keywords: adolescent; anxiety; attentional control; children; factor analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self-Control*