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A Psychometric Analysis of the Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents Among Youth With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Caregiver-Adolescent Agreement, Factor Structure, and Validity. Assessment 2021 Jan;28(1):100-115



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Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85067878119 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   13 Citations


Social anxiety is common among adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). An ongoing challenge for both research and clinical practice in ASD is the assessment of anxious symptomatology. Despite its widespread use in samples of youth with ASD, the Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents (SAS-A) has not received psychometric evaluation within this population; thus, the validity of its use in research and clinical practice for ASD remains unclear. The present study conducted a psychometric analysis of caregiver and adolescent SAS-A forms in a sample of adolescents with ASD (N = 197). Results revealed (1) poor caregiver-adolescent item-level agreement, (2) a two-factor structure, (3) lack of measurement invariance between reporters, and (4) modest evidence for convergent and discriminant validity. Overall, findings suggest that this measure demonstrates reasonable psychometric properties in an ASD sample. Lack of measurement invariance, however, calls for careful interpretation of research involving the SAS-A in ASD samples, particularly when the primary goal is to compare adolescent and caregiver reports. The implications of these findings for future research and clinical practice are discussed.

Author List

Schiltz HK, Magnus BE, McVey AJ, Haendel AD, Dolan BK, Stanley RE, Willar KA, Pleiss SJ, Carson AM, Carlson M, Murphy C, Vogt EM, Yund BD, Van Hecke AV


Amy Van Hecke PhD Professor in the Psychology department at Marquette University
Elisabeth M. Vogt PhD Assistant Professor in the Neurology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Anxiety Disorders
Autism Spectrum Disorder