Development and Preliminary Validation of the Threat Appraisal Questionnaire for Children (TAQ-C)
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Despite the emphasis on threat appraisal in cognitive models of anxiety, self-report measures of related processes in children and adolescents have been lacking. This paper reports on the development and preliminary psychometric evaluation of a new measure of threat appraisal for children and adolescents – the Threat Appraisal Questionnaire for Children (TAQ-C). Based on current conceptualisations of threat appraisal, the TAQ-C was designed to index the construct across three dimensions: probability, cost, and coping difficulties. Confirmatory Factor Analysis was used to examine this structure in a community sample of n = 312 children (ages 9–15 years, 55% female). Results indicated that the scores on the instrument capture three factors (Probability, Cost and Coping difficulties). Moreover, a model in which the 1st-order factors loaded significantly on a single 2nd order factor of threat in general, was supported. The TAQ-C was found to demonstrate good internal consistency, and acceptable levels of test-retest reliability within a 3–4 week interval, when evaluated with a subsample of n = 51 children. Support for convergent validity was demonstrated, with TAQ-C scores found to correlate strongly with existing measures of child anxiety, and conceptually related cognitive processes. Divergent validity was also evidenced, with low correlations found between TAQ-C scores and the unrelated construct measure of Hyperactivity-Inattention. The TAQ-C, therefore, appears to be a promising measure with a range of potential applications for child and adolescent settings.
KeywordsThreat appraisal Probability Cost Coping Adolescent Anxiety
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Rosanna Francis, David J. Hawes, Maree Abbott, and Daniel S. J. Costa declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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