Objective: To develop a reliable and valid child and parent self-report instrument to screen children with anxiety disorders.
Method: An 85-item questionnaire was administered to 341 outpatient children and adolescents and 300 parents. Utilizing item analyses and factor analyses, the original scale was reduced to 38 items. A subsample of children (n = 88) and parents (n = 86) was retested an average of 5 weeks (4 days to 15 weeks after the initial screening.
Results: The child and parent Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED) both yielded five factors: somatic/panic, general anxiety, separation anxiety, social phobia For the total score and each of the five factors, both the child and parent SCARED demonstrated good internal consistency (alpha = .74 to .93), test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficients = .70 to .90), discriminative validity (both between anxiety and other disorders and within anxiety disorders), and moderate parent-child agreement (r = .20 to .47, p < .001, all correlations).
Conclusions: The SCARED shows promise as a screening instrument for anxiety disorders. Future studies using the SCARED in community samples are indicated.