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01-08-2012 | Original Article | Uitgave 4/2012

Child Psychiatry & Human Development 4/2012

Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents (SAS-A): Measuring Social Anxiety Among Finnish Adolescents

Child Psychiatry & Human Development > Uitgave 4/2012
Klaus Ranta, Niina Junttila, Eero Laakkonen, Anni Uhmavaara, Annette M. La Greca, Päivi M. Niemi


The aim of this study was to investigate symptoms of social anxiety and the psychometric properties of the Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents (SAS-A) among Finnish adolescents, 13–16 years of age. Study 1 (n = 867) examined the distribution of SAS-A scores according to gender and age, and the internal consistency and factor structure of the SAS-A. In a subsample (n = 563; Study 2) concurrent and discriminant validity of the SAS-A were examined relative to the Social Phobia Inventory and the Beck Depression Inventory. Test–retest stability was examined over a 30-month period by repeated measures every 6 months in another subsample (n = 377; Study 3). Results mostly revealed no gender differences in social anxiety, except that boys reported more general social avoidance and distress than girls. Older adolescents (14–16-year-olds) reported higher social anxiety than younger adolescents (12–13-year-olds). Internal consistency for the SAS-A was acceptable for both genders and for all three SAS-A subscales. Confirmatory factor analysis replicated the original 18-item three-factor structure of the SAS-A, accounting for 61% of the variance between items. Evidence for concurrent and discriminant validity was found. Test–retest stability over 6 months was satisfactory. Results support the reliability and validity of the Finnish adaptation of the SAS-A, and further indicate that gender differences in adolescents’ social anxiety may vary across Western countries.

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