Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 532–536

Validity and Specificity of the Children’s Automatic Thoughts Scale in Clinically Anxious and Non-clinical Children

Brief Report


The present study is a preliminary examination of the internal, criterion, and convergent validity of the Children’s Automatic Thoughts Scale (CATS; Schniering and Rapee 2002), a developmentally sensitive measure of cognitions associated with childhood internalizing and externalizing disorders, among clinically anxious and non-clinical children. Participants included 40 children (ages 7–14) with a clinical anxiety disorder and 40 non-clinical children with no prior anxiety disorder diagnosis. Results supported the internal consistency and criterion validity of the measure. In addition, controlling for age, sex, and clinical status, convergent validity was largely supported, with the Physical Threat subscale correlating with self-report of generalized anxiety and separation anxiety, and the Social Threat and Personal Failure subscales correlating with self-report of social anxiety and major depression. Limitations and suggestions for further research on the utility of the CATS are discussed.


Children Anxiety Cognition Self-report 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical and Research Program in Pediatric PsychopharmacologyMassachusetts General HospitalCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston UniversityBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA

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