DSM-IV defined anxiety disorder symptoms in South-African children
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Objective: To examine DSM-IV-defined anxiety disorder symptoms in a large sample of normal South African school-children. Method: Children completed two self-report questionnaires: the Spence Children's Anxiety Scale (SCAS) and the 41-item version of the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED). Results: Psychometric properties of the SCAS and the SCARED were moderate (convergent validity) to sufficient (reliability). Factor analyses yielded evidence for the presence of a number of hypothesized anxiety categories (i.e., social phobia, panic disorder, fears, and generalized anxiety disorder). Furthermore, anxiety levels of South African children were higher than those of Western (i.e., Dutch) children. Differences were found with regard to the content of prevalent anxiety symptoms among South African and Western children. Conclusion: Although psychometric properties of the SCAS and the SCARED in South African children somewhat deviated from those obtained in Western countries, both scales seem to be useful for assessing childhood anxiety symptoms in this country.