Category: Child / Adolescent - Anxiety

PS12- #B57 - Psychometric Properties of the Revised Childhood Anxiety Sensitivity Index (CASI-R) in a Nonclinical Child Sample

Saturday, Nov 18
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom CDGH, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Child Anxiety | Anxiety Sensitivity | Psychometrics

One factor that has been examined as a predictor in the development of anxiety in children is anxiety sensitivity (AS), which is the fear of anxiety symptoms and belief that negative outcomes will result from them (Reiss, 1991). AS has been significantly associated with anxiety—especially panic disorder—in both adults and children (e.g., Rachman, 1998; Lau, Calamari, & Waraczynski, 1996).

AS has been most commonly assessed to date using the Childhood Anxiety Sensitivity Index (CASI; Silverman., Fleisig, Rabian, & Peterson, 1991). However, a revised and expanded version of the CASI, the CASI-R, was developed by Muris (2002) to more comprehensively asses the lower-order facets comprising the AS construct.

Initial psychometric analyses using the CASI-R yielded excellent internal consistency reliability estimates for all four subscales (α=.81-.88; Muris, 2002). While a replication study assessing a French translation of the CASI-R found estimates that were much lower than that found originally (α=.62-.75), they were still considered adequate (Stassart, Hansez, Delvaus, Depauw, & Etienne, 2013). Both analyses, however, examined children aged 12 and older. The purpose of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of the CASI-R—including internal consistency reliability of its subscales as well as convergent and discriminant validity—in a novel sample of elementary and middle school-aged children.

Participants in the preliminary analysis included 73 children, aged 8 to 14 (M=11.04 years, SD=1.82)—who were recruited from private schools in a Midwestern city. Children completed self-report measures of anxiety sensitivity (the CASI and the CASI-R), as well as anxiety and depressive symptoms (the RCADS), as part of a larger study. Data collection is ongoing.

Consistent with findings of Muris (2002), internal consistency reliability of the total scale (Cronbach’s α = .88) and Fear of Respiratory Symptoms subscale (α = .84) was good; however, in contrast to predictions and previous findings, the reliability of the other three subscales ranged from poor (α = .59 for Fear of Cognitive Dyscontrol) to acceptable (α = .71 for Fear of Cardiovascular Symptoms). Zero-order correlations resulted in findings consistent with previous research as well. The CASI-R total scale was strongly correlated with the total score of the original CASI (r = .71, p < .001). The CASI-R total score was also significantly associated with symptoms of five anxiety disorders (r values ranged from .35 to .54, all p values ≤ .001) and depression (r = .35, p = .003). Finally, Fear of Publicly Observable Anxiety Reactions was most related to symptoms of social phobia (r = .50, p < .001) The other three subscales were not primarily related to symptoms of panic disorder, which is inconsistent with previous findings. It should be noted, however, that these relationships were still significant (r values ranged from .33 to .44, all p values ≤ .004). These findings lend support to the reliability and convergent validity of the CASI-R in a younger non-clinical sample, providing additional supporting evidence for this revised measure of child AS.

Shannon Manley

Graduate Student
University of Toledo
Toledo, Ohio

Sarah E. Francis

The University of Toledo