Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 47, Issue 6, pp 975–984 | Cite as

The Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents: Measurement Invariance and Psychometric Properties Among a School Sample of Portuguese Youths

  • Pedro Pechorro
  • Lara Ayala-Nunes
  • Cristina Nunes
  • João Marôco
  • Rui Abrunhosa Gonçalves
Original Article


Over the last decades there has been an increased interest in assessing social anxiety in adolescents. This study aims to validate the Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents (SAS-A) to Portuguese youth, and to examine its invariance across gender as well as its psychometric properties. The participants were 782 Portuguese youths (371 males, 411 females), with an average age of 15.87 years (SD = 1.72). The results support the original three-factor structure of the SAS-A, with measurement invariance being found across gender, with females scoring higher than males on two subscales. High levels of internal consistency were found. Positive associations with empathy demonstrated that high socially anxious adolescents have elevated empathy tendencies. Mostly null or low negative associations were found with measures of psychopathic traits, callous-unemotional traits and aggression. Study findings provide evidence that the SAS-A is a psychometrically sound instrument that shows measurement invariance between genders, good reliability and positive correlations with empathy.


Adolescence Assessment Empathy Psychometrics Social anxiety 



This study was conducted at Psychology Research Centre, University of Minho, supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT; Grant SFRH/BPD/86666/2012) with co-financing of the European Social Fund (POPH/FSE), the Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science (MEC) through national funds, and co-financed by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement (UID/PSI/01662/2013).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pedro Pechorro
    • 1
  • Lara Ayala-Nunes
    • 2
    • 3
  • Cristina Nunes
    • 3
  • João Marôco
    • 4
  • Rui Abrunhosa Gonçalves
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of MinhoBragaPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Developmental and Educational PsychologyUniversity of SevilleSevilleSpain
  3. 3.Research Centre for Spatial and Organizational DynamicsUniversity of AlgarveFaroPortugal
  4. 4.ISPA - Instituto UniversitárioLisbonPortugal

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