Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Psychometric Properties of the Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory for Children in a Spanish Sample

Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Psychometric Properties of the Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory for Children in a Spanish Sample

Article excerpt

The objectives of the present study were to adapt and analyze the factor structure, reliability, and validity of the Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory for Children (SPAI-C; Beidel, Turner, & Morris, 1995) in a Spanish population. The SPAI-C was applied to a sample of 1588 children and adolescents with ages ranging from 10 to 17 years. The confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) showed a four-factor structure: Public performance, Assertiveness, Fear and avoidance/escape in social encounters, and Cognitive and psychophysiological interferences. Internal consistency was high (.90) and test-retest reliability was moderate (.56). Significant differences were found in the variables sex and age, although the effect size was small in both variables and their interaction. Overall, the increase of the age value was inversely proportional to that of social anxiety measured with the SPAI-C; in participants of the same age, values were higher for girls than for boys. Results suggest that the Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory For Children is a valid and reliable instrument to assess social anxiety in Spanish children and adolescents.

Keywords: children and adolescents, social anxiety, social phobia and anxiety inventory for children (spai-c), assessment, self-report, validation.

Los objetivos de este estudio fueron adaptar y analizar la estructura factorial, fiabilidad y validez del Inventario de Ansiedad y Fobia Social para niños (Social Phobia And Anxiety Inventory For Children, SPAI-C; Beidel, Turner y Morris 1995) en población española. El SPAI-C fue aplicado a una muestra de 1588 niños y adolescentes con edades entre 10 y 17 años. El análisis factorial confirmatorio determinó una estructura de cuatro factores: Actuación en público, Asertividad, Miedo y evitación/escape en los encuentros sociales e Interferencias cognitivas y psicofisiológicas. La consistencia interna fue alta (0.90) y la fiabilidad test-retest moderada (0.56). Se encontraron diferencias significativas en las variables sexo y edad, aunque con un tamaño del efecto bajo para ambas variables y su interacción. En general, el incremento del valor de la edad se muestra inverso al de la ansiedad social medida con el SPAI-C, mostrando las chicas valores más elevados para una misma edad que los chicos. Los resultados sugieren que el Inventario de Ansiedad y Fobia Social para niños es un instrumento válido y fiable para evaluar ansiedad social en niños y adolescentes españoles.

Palabras clave: niños y adolescentes, ansiedad social, inventario de ansiedad y fobia social para niños (spai-c), evaluación, auto-informe, validación.

Social Phobia is characterized by excessive and persistent fear of being evaluated negatively by others in social situations (American Psychiatric Association -APA-, 2000). The onset of social phobia generally occurs in childhood or adolescence (Beidel & Turner, 2005); the prevalence of the disorder is high in both clinical and community samples, ranging from 2% to 20% in adults (Kessler, Berglund, Demier, Jin, Merikangas, & Walter, 2005) and from 4% to 10% in a community sample of children and adolescents (Olivares, 2005; Wittchen, Stein, & Kessler, 1999); it is one of the three most frequently diagnosed disorders in this period of life (Beidel & Turner, 2005).

The clinical relevance of Social Phobia is due to its consequences in the daily life of children/adolescents regarding their personal, academic, and health development (Olivares & Caballo, 2003). Children with this disorder are at greater risk of having emotional and social problems than those without social phobia (Trianes, Blanca, García, Muñoz, & Fernández, 2007). Moreover, several studies have shown the relevance of the negative consequences of social phobia in the decline of academic performance (Bernstein, Bernat, Davis & Layne, 2008); this leads to a greater risk of school dropout, to the development of other anxiety and mood disorders (Perroud et al. …

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