Two-Factor Structure of Social-Evaluative Fear in Children: Distinguishing Fear of Positive and Negative Evaluation in Social Anxiety
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment | Uitgave 3/2022Log in om toegang te krijgen
Social anxiety is characterized by fear, nervousness, and avoidance in social situations and can emerge as early as childhood. Recent theoretical models have proposed a two-factor model of social-evaluative concerns in social anxiety, including fear of negative evaluation (FNE), as well as fear of positive evaluation (FPE). Previous work in adolescents and adults has provided empirical support for this two-factor structure of social-evaluative fear, but it remains unclear whether FNE and FPE are distinct constructs in childhood. We collected parent-report of FNE, FPE, and social anxiety in 119 children (M = 8.84 years, SD = 0.44) and self-report of FNE, FPE, and social anxiety in 609 adults (M = 18.93 years, SD = 2.03). Confirmatory factor analyses revealed a two-factor structure of FNE and FPE in children and adults. Further, tests of measurement invariance across the child and adult samples were supported, suggesting psychometric equivalence across parent- and self-report of the FNE and FPE questionnaires. Finally, both FNE and FPE were each uniquely, positively related to social anxiety in children and adults. These findings provide evidence that FNE and FPE are distinct constructs in children and adults linked to social anxiety and illustrate that a two-factor structure of social-evaluative fear may be evident as early as childhood which is comparable to adult samples.