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Self-Report for Childhood Anxiety Related Disorders (SCARED)

19 January 2012

This tool screens children and adolescents age 8 and older for anxiety disorders.

The SCARED screening tool is a standardized instrument to screen for child anxiety disorders in primary care and includes questions about shyness and specific anxieties.

There is a Parent & Child version.

Both SCARED versions contain 41 items that measure five factors: general anxiety, separation anxiety, social phobia, school phobia, and physical symptoms of anxiety.

Each screen takes 5 minutes to complete and is available free at:


Reviewed literature identified four current and widely used screening instruments for childhood AD. The first, the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED) is designed to measure AD symptoms from both the child and parent point of view. Originally published in 1997 as a 38-item questionnaire, the SCARED has been revised three times to contain 41 items, 66 items and finally 71 items for measuring AD symptoms in youth 8-18 years old.  Items are scored using a 3-point Likert scale with choices ranging form “not true or hardly ever true” to “very true or often true.” For each item, the youth or parent both choose the response that best describes how the child has been feeling during the past three months (for example, “I worry about sleeping alone” or “I worry about what is going to happen in the future”). All scores are totaled; a higher score reflects higher levels of anxiety. Through discriminant analysis, a score of 33 was determined to be the cut-off point between high and low anxious youth. In other words, scores above 33 commonly indicate high anxiety while scores under 33 indicate less severe anxiety.

Through three separate studies, the first three versions of SCARED were determined to be reliable tools for detecting AD in youth (Muris et al, 2000, 2001, 2004). In a study of 176 anxious and non-anxious children and their parents, the most current version (SCARED-71) also demonstrated an ability to differentiate clinically anxious from non-clinically anxious children (Bodden, Bogels, and Muris, 2009). Thus, the authors conclude the SCARED-71 “can be used as a screening tool to detect clinically significant anxiety problems in children and adolescents and discriminates reasonably well among specific anxiety disorders.”

Evidence Based Practices for the Most Common Behavioral Health Youth Diagnoses in Utah Public Mental Health Centers
Allison Blaine and Kelly C. Feller
Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Services (UTACCS)
Social Research Institute, University of Utah. June 22, 2009

Please download the Screening Tool below for test.

  arrowscaredchild-final.pdf (English - pdf - 39 Kb)   

  arrowScaredParent-final.pdf (English - pdf - 38 Kb)   

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