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.
Schiltz, Hillary; Magnus, Brooke E.; McVey, Alana J.; Haendel, Angela; Dolan, Bridget; Stanley, Rachel E.; Willar, Kirsten S.; Pleiss, Sheryl; Carson, Audrey Meyer; Carlson, Mary E.; Murphy, Christina; Vogt, Elisabeth M.; Yund, Brianna D.; and Van Hecke, Amy V., "A Psychometric Analysis of the Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents Among Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Caregiver–Adolescent Agreement, Factor Structure, and Validity" (2019). College of Education Faculty Research and Publications. 537.
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