European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 163-171

First online:

Social anxiety disorder in 11–12-year-old children

The efficacy of screening and issues in parent–child agreement
  • Hanne KristensenAffiliated withRegional Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, RBUP Email author 
  • , Svenn TorgersenAffiliated withDept. of Psychology, University of Oslo

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To investigate the level of diagnostic and discriminative accuracy of The Social Anxiety Scale for Children – Revised (SASC-R) for identifying social anxiety disorder (SAD) in a community-based sample of 11–12 year-old children. Parent–child diagnostic agreement was also examined.


A questionnaire including SASC-R and items on impulsive behavior was sent to a population based sample of children, born in 1992. A total of 2568 parents returned their questionnaires (rr: 70%), and 1297 (51%) consented to further participation. An index group [50 high-scoring children on social anxiety (SA-group)] and two contrast groups [(50 high-scoring children on impulsive behavior (Imp-group) and 50 low-scoring children on SA and Imp, (Ls-group)] were selected for participation.


SAD was assigned 35 (23%) of 150 children; 28 (80%) from the SA-group; 7 (20%) from the Imp- group and 0 from the Ls-group. The SASC-R showed relatively high discriminative accuracy for SAD, but was also influenced by other diagnoses. Mother–child agreement was fair (κ=0.46), and mother-only diagnoses were frequent. Both child and parent information are important when diagnosing SAD in this age group.

Key words

social anxiety disorder children screening