Original Article

Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 501-514

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Measuring Anxiety in Youth with Learning Disabilities: Reliability and Validity of the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC)

  • Nicholas S. ThalerAffiliated withNeuropsychology Research Program, Department of Psychology, University of Nevada Las Vegas Email author 
  • , Ellie KazemiAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, California State University
  • , Jeffrey J. WoodAffiliated withGraduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California


Youth with learning disabilities (LD) are at an increased risk for anxiety disorders and valid measures of anxiety are necessary for assessing this population. We investigated the psychometric properties of the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC; March in Multidimensional anxiety scale for children. Multi-Health Systems, North Tonawanda, 1998) in 41 adolescents (ages 11– 17 years) with LD. Youth and parents completed the MASC and were administered the semi-structured Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule: Child and Parent Versions (ADIS: C/P; Silverman and Albano in The Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for DSM-IV-Child and Parent Versions. Psychological Corporation, San Antonio, 1996). Results found that child and parent reports of Social Anxiety on the MASC closely corresponded with ADIS-generated social phobia diagnoses, and parent total scores discriminated well among youth with and without any anxiety disorder. A multi-method multi-trait matrix provided evidence of the construct validity of the MASC total score for both parent and child reports. Our findings provide empirical evidence that parent and child versions of the MASC are useful for assessing anxiety in youth with LD.


MASC Learning disabilities Child anxiety Parent–child agreement Multi-trait multi-method matrix