Social anxiety is an anxiety disorder that can appear at any age, Although more generally it does so in childhood and adolescence. The Greca and Stone (1993) Revised Social Anxiety Scale for Children (SASC-R) assesses this anxiety.
In this article, we will know the three factors in which the authors of L’Escala divide social anxiety. We will explain the features of this instrument, as well as its advantages, format and the results of some research (which shows how to interpret the results of the scale).
“The 7 types of anxiety (characteristics, causes and symptoms)”
Child-revised Social Anxiety Scale: what is it?
the Scale of Social Anxiety for Children-Revised (SASC-R) by Greca and Stone (1993), is a tool that assesses social anxiety in children between 7 and 12 years old. This is a revised version of SASC (La Greca, Dandes, Wick, Shaw & Stone, 1988). The SASC, for its part, relied on two scales from Watson and Friend (1969): “Fear of Negative Evaluation” (FNE) and “Social Advoidance and Distress” (SAD).
La Greca and Stone reviewed the previous scale (SASC; Social Anxiety Scale for Children) as they saw some weaknesses. They incorporated new items into the scale, particularly items related to social avoidance and generalized “distress”. Thus, these authors have divided social situations into two groups: new and widespread. They did so because they observed that this distinction had important clinical connotations.
Thus, the main differences between the child-revised social anxiety scale and its previous version (SASC) are the incorporation of a third factor and the increase in the number of items (which went from 10 to 18).
What are you evaluating?
More precisely, the Social Anxiety Scale for Children-revised assesses social anxiety related to functioning with peers.
This anxiety is divided into three factors or dimensions that we will see later in the article, which are: 1. fear of negative peer review (FNE); 2. anxiety and social avoidance in new situations or in front of strangers (SAD-N); and 3. anxiety and social avoidance towards people in general, whether they are equals, acquaintances or strangers.
Social anxiety in children and adolescents
Social anxiety, or social phobia, is classified as an anxiety disorder in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders). This results in intense fear or anxiety about social interactions or other social situations (public speaking, being at a party, meeting people, etc.).
It is an anxiety disorder that can appear both in childhood and in adulthood; however, it is in adolescence that it appears most frequently. Indeed, it is an age when social relations and the fact of “having friends” are of vital importance, both for the child and for the adolescent; moreover, their personality is formed, very partly in relation to these friendships.
This makes the child or adolescent feel more pressure to love, as well as pressure to include them in social groups, invite them to parties, Etc. As we have seen, the Child-Revised Social Anxiety Scale is responsible for assessing this anxiety.
The scale format is a 3 point Likert type format. Remember that the Likert format is a format created by psychologist Rensis Likert, in which responses are scored within a range of values (eg, “a little”, “normal” or “a lot”).
However, although in the Spanish version of SASC-R the range of scores varies from 1 to 3 (points), the authors of L’Escala also used the range of 1 to 5 points.
On the other hand, the Child-Revised Social Anxiety Scale includes 22 items; of these 22, however, only 18 count.
Scale factors: social anxiety
Studies on the Social Anxiety Scale for Children (Revised) (in particular, several factor analyzes were performed) indicated that social anxiety in this age group (childhood) can be grouped into three factors.
It should be noted that these three factors or dimensions exhibit good levels of internal consistency. The three factors are:
1. Fear of negative reviews
This fear appears in relation to the negative evaluation of peers, i.e. children of the same age. In the Child-Reviewed Social Anxiety Scale, this factor is called FNE (“Fear of Negative Ratings”).
2. Social avoidance
Social avoidance occurs in relation to generalized (non-specific) social situations. This social avoidance also translates into “social distress” and the acronym (SAD-G) stands for “Social avoidance and general distress”.
3. Anxiety in the face of new situations
Anxiety arises when faced with new situations related to situations with new peers. Thus, this social “distress” refers to specific and new situations with peers (in English, “Social Avoidance and Distress-Specific to New Peers”; SAD-New or SAD-N).
As positive characteristics, we find that the Child-Reviewed Social Anxiety Scale is a short, easy-to-administer scale. In addition, its psychometric properties are good.
It consists of a self-assessment instrument; in fact, these are the few tools that exist in self-report form for assessing social anxiety in children and adolescents.
This scale allows us to assess different dimensions of anxiety and social fear in childhood, both clinically and not clinically.
An important study by Sandín et. in (1999) analyzed the psychometric characteristics of the child-revised social anxiety scale. Reliability analyzes showed that the SASC-R had a good level of reliability (This includes: Cronbach’s alpha, homogeneity index, item-level correlation, and coefficient of determination).
In contrast, the three factors mentioned in the scale also had good levels of reliability.
Interpretation of its results
Another study conducted with the Child-Revised Social Anxiety Scale examined the relationships between the anxiety levels of the different subscales (factors) of the scale and children’s social and emotional functioning.
The results showed that the first factor, fear of negative feedback, was linked to lower self-esteem.. In addition, children who scored high on this factor had a perception of low social acceptance and interacted more negatively with their peers.
The third factor in the Child-Revised Social Anxiety Scale, fear or anxiety about new situations, was related to children who also perceived low social acceptance by others, as well as poor social acceptance. higher number of negative interactions.
Finally, we saw that children with higher SASC-R scores had a greater deterioration in their overall social functioning. This has resulted in worse social skills, less social relations and a perception of little social acceptance by others.
- La Greca, AM and Stone, WL (1993). Revised Social Anxiety Scale for Children: Factor Structure and Concurrent Validity. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 22: 17-27.
- Sandín, B., Chorot, P., Valent, RM, Santed, MA and Sánchez-Arribas, C. (1999). Factor structure of the Revised Social Anxiety Scale for Children (SASC-R). Journal of Psychopathology and Clinical Psychology 1999, 4 (2): 105-113.
- Vicent, MC (2016). Study on social anxiety in children. University of Jaén, Faculty of Humanities and Educational Sciences.