Objective: To examine the factor structure of the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders - Parent Report (SCARED-P) in young children and elucidate normative levels of parent-reported anxiety using a nationally representative sample of parents of children ages 5-12 years living in the United States.
Method: The 41-item SCARED-P was administered to parents of 1,570 youth who were selected to match the U.S. population on key demographic variables. SCARED-P model fit and mean score differences by age, race/ethnicity, and sex were assessed.
Results: SCARED-P model fit and subscale reliability appeared almost identical in younger children (ages 5-8) and older children (ages 9-12), although model fit for a five-factor model was poor in both groups. Symptoms of generalized anxiety increased from age 5 to 12, while symptoms of separation anxiety disorder decreased. Parents reported significantly more symptoms of social anxiety in females than males. No significant differences by race/ethnicity were found for mean levels of anxiety or model fit.
Conclusions: The SCARED-P shows some utility as an anxiety screening instrument in a representative sample of U.S. youth as young as 5-years-old, but caution should be used when interpreting subscale scores.