Development and validation of measures of social phobia scrutiny fear and social interaction anxiety

Behav Res Ther. 1998 Apr;36(4):455-70. doi: 10.1016/s0005-7967(97)10031-6.


The development and validation of the Social Phobia Scale (SPS) and the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SIAS) two companion measures for assessing social phobia fears is described. The SPS assesses fear of being scrutinised during routine activities (eating, drinking, writing, etc.), while the SIAS assesses fear of more general social interaction, the scales corresponding to the DSM-III-R descriptions of Social Phobia--Circumscribed and Generalised types, respectively. Both scales were shown to possess high levels of internal consistency and test-retest reliability. They discriminated between social phobia, agoraphobia and simple phobia samples, and between social phobia and normal samples. The scales correlated well with established measures of social anxiety, but were found to have low or non-significant (partial) correlations with established measures of depression, state and trait anxiety, locus of control, and social desirability. The scales were found to change with treatment and to remain stable in the face of no-treatment. It appears that these scales are valid, useful, and easily scored measures for clinical and research applications, and that they represent an improvement over existing measures of social phobia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Agoraphobia / diagnosis
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / standards
  • Phobic Disorders / classification
  • Phobic Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Phobic Disorders / therapy
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards*
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Psychometrics / standards*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Social Behavior*