Adolescent Self-Reports of Social Anxiety: Can They Disagree with Objective Psychophysiological Measures and Still Be Valid?

  • Andres De Los Reyes
  • Amelia Aldao
  • Sarah A. Thomas
  • Samantha Daruwala
  • Anna J. Swan
  • Michael Van Wie
  • Katherine Goepel
  • William V. Lechner


We examined self-reported and parent-reported adolescent social anxiety symptoms and objective baseline measures of psychophysiological flexibility in 62 families. Measures completed by 31 adolescents referred for a clinical screening evaluation for social anxiety were compared to an age- and gender-matched community control sample of 31 adolescents (total sample: age range 14 to 17 years; 22 boys and 40 girls; M = 15.32 years; SD = 1.1). Clinic referred adolescents reported significantly fewer social anxiety symptoms than parents reported about adolescents. Further, for all adolescents, self-reported social anxiety symptoms exhibited low correspondence with objective psychophysiological measures. Yet, both measures uniquely discriminated between adolescents on whether they were clinic referred for a social anxiety screening. Further, adolescent self-reported social anxiety symptoms exhibited high levels of internal consistency and convergent validity. Findings indicate that researchers and practitioners should refrain from using disagreements between adolescent self-reports and other measures (e.g., parent report, objective measures) as indicators of the veracity of adolescent self-reports.


Correspondence Disagreement Informant discrepancies Multiple informants Social anxiety 



This work was supported, in part, by an internal grant from the University of Maryland (College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Dean’s Research Initiative) awarded to Andres De Los Reyes. We are grateful to Ho-Man Yeung for his assistance with data collection and administration of training protocols for this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andres De Los Reyes
    • 1
  • Amelia Aldao
    • 2
  • Sarah A. Thomas
    • 1
  • Samantha Daruwala
    • 1
  • Anna J. Swan
    • 1
  • Michael Van Wie
    • 1
  • Katherine Goepel
    • 1
  • William V. Lechner
    • 3
  1. 1.Comprehensive Assessment and Intervention Program, Department of PsychologyUniversity of Maryland at College ParkCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA

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