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Measuring Anxiety in Youth with Learning Disabilities: Reliability and Validity of the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC)

  • Author(s): Thaler, Nicholas S.
  • Kazemi, Ellie
  • Wood, Jeffrey J.
  • et al.
Abstract

Youth with learning disabilities (LD) are at an increased risk for anxiety disorders and valid measures of anxiety are necessary for assessing this population. We investigated the psychometric properties of the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC; March in Multidimensional anxiety scale for children. Multi-Health Systems, North Tonawanda, 1998) in 41 adolescents (ages 11– 17 years) with LD. Youth and parents completed the MASC and were administered the semi-structured Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule: Child and Parent Versions (ADIS: C/P; Silverman and Albano in The Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for DSM-IV-Child and Parent Versions. Psychological Corporation, San Antonio, 1996). Results found that child and parent reports of Social Anxiety on the MASC closely corresponded with ADIS-generated social phobia diagnoses, and parent total scores discriminated well among youth with and without any anxiety disorder. A multi-method multi-trait matrix provided evidence of the construct validity of the MASC total score for both parent and child reports. Our findings provide empirical evidence that parent and child versions of the MASC are useful for assessing anxiety in youth with LD.

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