, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 311-317

Social Desirability and Self-Reported Anxiety in Children: An Analysis of the RCMAS Lie Scale

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There are important applied and theoretical reasons for research into the association between social desirability and self-reported anxiety in young people. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between anxiety and social desirability in a large normative sample of 7- to 14-year-olds (N = 1,786). Participants completed the Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale and their teachers rated children as anxious-not anxious according to specified descriptions. Results indicated that anxiety and lie scores do not correlate for either gender or age grouping. However, anxiety scores interacted with lie scores differently for males and females in terms of the agreement between children's and teacher's ratings of anxiety. Indications are that social desirability levels may in part explain the consistent discrepancies found between child and adult reports of anxiety in young people.