Click Here
Home  «  Assessment Tool  « 

Screening and Assessment Tools for Child Welfare

Assessment Rating:
A
A – Reliability and Validity Demonstrated
See entire scale

Screen for Childhood Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED)

Developer(s):

Boris Birmaher, MD, Suneeta Khetarpal, MD, Marlane Cully, MEd., David Brent MD, and Sandra McKenzie, PhD

Description / Purpose:

The SCARED is a child and parent self-report instrument used to screen for childhood anxiety disorders including general anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia. In addition, it assesses symptoms related to school phobias. The SCARED consists of 41 items and 5 factors that parallel the DSM-IV classification of anxiety disorders. The child and parent versions of the SCARED have moderate parent-child agreement and good internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and discriminant validity, and it is sensitive to treatment response.

Target Population: Children ages 8-18 years

Intended Users: Clinicians and psychiatrists

Time to Administer: 10 minutes

Completed By: Children and parents

Modalities Available: Handwritten

Scoring Information: Severity of symptoms for the past three months is rated using a 0 to 2-point rating scale with 0 meaning not true or hardly ever true, 1 meaning sometimes true, and 2 meaning true or often true.

Languages Available: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish

Training Requirements for Intended Users: Trained clinician

Availability: Free for download on website: http://www.psychiatry.pitt.edu/research/tools-research/assessment-instruments At the end of the instrument, there is information regarding scoring the instrument.

Contact Information

Company: Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic, Department of Child Psychology
Website: www.psychiatry.pitt.edu/research/tools-research/assessment-instruments
Email:
Phone: (412) 246-5788

Summary of Relevant Psychometric Research

This assessment has received the Assessment Rating of "A – Reliability and Validity Demonstrated" based on the published, peer-reviewed research available. The assessment must have 2 or more published, peer-reviewed studies that demonstrated that the measure is reliable and valid. Please see the Assessment Rating Scale for more information.

Show relevant research...

The last article is a meta-analysis and it was not considered in the rating process of this assessment.

Birmaher, B., Khetarpal, S., Brent, D., Cully, M., Balach, L., Kaufman, J., & McKenzie Neer, S. (1997). The Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED): Scale construction and psychometric characteristics. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 36(4), 545 -553.

Sample:

Participants — 341 outpatient children and adolescents and 300 parents

Race/Ethnicity — 82% Caucasian, 18% African American

Summary:

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. The child and parent Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED) both yielded five factors: somatic/panic, general anxiety, separation anxiety, social phobia, and school phobia. For the total score and each of the five factors, both the child and parent SCARED demonstrated good internal consistency, test-retest reliability, discriminative validity (both between anxiety and other disorders and within anxiety disorders), and moderate parent-child agreement. The SCARED shows promise as a screening instrument for anxiety disorders.

Birmaher, B., Brent, D. A., Chiappetta, L., Bridge, J., Monga, S., & Baugher, M. (1999). Psychometric properties of the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED): A replication study. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 38, 1230-1236.

Sample:

Participants — 190 outpatient children and adolescents and 166 parents

Race/Ethnicity — White (n=135), African-American (n=43), and Hispanic (n=11)

Summary:

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. 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. 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.

Monga, S., Birmaher, B., Chiappetta, L., Brent, D., Kaufman, J., Bridge, J., & Cully, M. (2000). Screen for Child Anxiety-Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED): Convergent and divergent validity. Depression and Anxiety, 12, 85-91.

Sample:

Participants — 295 children and adolescents and their parents

Race/Ethnicity — 85% Caucasian and 14% African American

Summary:

The SCARED, the Child Behavior Checklist for Ages 4-18 (CBCL/4-18), and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children (STAIC) were administered to children, adolescents (n = 295), and their parents attending an outpatient mood and anxiety disorders clinic. DSM-IIIR/IV diagnoses were made using a semistructured interview (n = 130) or a symptom checklist (n = 165). The Multi-Trait Multi-Method Matrix was used to assess construct validity, and Receiver Operating Curve analysis was used to assess the sensitivity and specificity of the SCARED, CBCL, and STAIC. The SCARED correlated significantly better with the CBCL’s internalizing factors than with the externalizing factors. In addition, parent and child forms of the SCARED correlated significantly with the trait and state subscales of the STAIC. Children with an anxiety disorder scored significantly higher on the SCARED than children with depression only or disruptive disorders only, thus demonstrating the discriminant validity of the SCARED. The SCARED is a reliable and valid screening tool for clinically referred children and adolescents with anxiety disorders.

Hale, W. W. III, C, E., Raaijmakers, A. W., & Meeus, W. H. J. (2011). A meta-analysis of the cross-cultural psychometric properties of the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED). Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52, 80-90.

Sample:

Participants — Not Specified

Race/Ethnicity — Not Specified

Summary:

Studies were collected from the PsycINFO, PubMed, SSCI, SCI-Expanded, ERIC, and A&HCI databases from the year of the SCARED's first publication (1997) to the present. The inclusion criteria focused on all studies that examined the psychometric properties of the SCARED. Twenty-one articles were retained, reporting a total of 25 studies from predominantly Europe (Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands) and the USA, as well as South Africa and China, which matched the authors' inclusion criteria. It was found that the psychometric properties were robust for the SCARED scales related to the symptoms of DSM-IV-TR anxiety disorders, that females scored significantly higher than males, and that age had a moderating effect on male and female score differences. This meta-analysis suggests that the SCARED can be utilized as a screening instrument for DSM-IV-TR anxiety disorder symptom dimensions for children and adolescents from various countries.

Date Reviewed: August 2011