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07-03-2017 | Original Paper | Uitgave 6/2017

Journal of Child and Family Studies 6/2017

The Polish Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale: Preliminary Evidence on Validity and Cross-Cultural Comparison

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 6/2017
Elisa Delvecchio, Jian-Bin Li, Hanna Liberska, Adriana Lis, Claudia Mazzeschi


Anxiety disorders are one of the most widespread psychological diseases in adolescence, which may lead to impairment in several areas of life and has been demonstrated a risk factor of other psychiatric disorders. One of the most widely used self-report measures to assess multiple symptoms of anxiety in youth is the Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale (SCAS). Literature suggests that anxiety symptoms vary across cultures to some extent. It has been found that individuals from collectivistic culture report higher levels of anxiety disorders than those from individualistic culture. Poland is a country whose culture was traditionally collectivistic; but now Poland is undergoing social and economic system transformation, which is taking it closer to individualistic culture. However, SCAS has never been validated in Polish samples, and thus the current study aimed (1) to assess the psychometric properties (structural validity and reliability) of SCAS in a sample of 303 Polish adolescents, (2) to examine gender differences, (3) to test the divergent validity of SCAS by relating it to the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and (4) to compare the mean levels with Chinese (collectivistic) and Italian (individualistic) samples. The results confirmed that the Polish version of SCAS showed good reliability and validity. Polish girls showed higher physical injury and generalized anxiety/overanxious symptoms than boys. Furthermore, Polish adolescents reported higher levels of anxiety than Italian youth but lower levels of anxiety than their Chinese counterparts. Implications for professionals and researchers are discussed.

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