Development of the Parent-Rated Anxiety Scale for Youth With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Lawrence Scahill, Luc Lecavalier, Robert T. Schultz, Andrea Nichole Evans, Brenna Maddox, Jill Pritchett, John Herrington, Scott Gillespie, Judith Miller, R. Toby Amoss, Michael G. Aman, Karen Bearss, Kenneth Gadow, Michael Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Anxiety is common in youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). There is no accepted outcome measure for anxiety in this population. Method: Following a series of focus groups with parents of youth with ASD, we generated 72 items (scored 0−3). Parents of 990 youth with ASD (aged 5−17 years; 80.8% male) completed an online survey. Factor analysis and item response theory analyses reduced the content to a single factor with 25 items. Youth with at least mild anxiety (n = 116; aged 5−17 years; 79.3% male) participated in a comprehensive clinical assessment to evaluate the validity and reliability of the 25-item Parent-Rated Anxiety Scale for ASD (PRAS-ASD). Results: In the online sample, the mean PRAS-ASD score was 29.04 ± 14.9 (range, 0−75). The coefficient α was 0.93. The item response theory results indicated excellent reliability across a wide range of scores with low standard errors. In the clinical sample (n = 116), the PRAS-ASD mean was 31.0 ± 15.6 (range, 1−65). Pearson correlations with parent ratings of ASD symptom severity, repetitive behavior, and disruptive behavior ranged 0.33 to 0.66, supporting divergent validity of the PRAS-ASD. Pearson correlation with a parent-rated measure of anxiety used in the general pediatric population of 0.83 supported convergent validity. A total of 40 participants (32 boys, 8 girls; mean age, 11.9 ± 3.4 years) returned at time 2 (mean, 12.2 days) and time 3 (mean, 24.2 days). Intraclass correlation showed test−retest reliabilities of 0.88 and 0.86 at time 2 and time 3, respectively. Conclusion: The 25-item PRAS-ASD is a reliable and valid scale for measuring anxiety in youth with ASD.

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Anxiety
Parents
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Focus Groups
Reproducibility of Results
Population
Statistical Factor Analysis
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Pediatrics

Keywords

  • anxiety
  • autism
  • outcome measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Development of the Parent-Rated Anxiety Scale for Youth With Autism Spectrum Disorder. / Scahill, Lawrence; Lecavalier, Luc; Schultz, Robert T.; Evans, Andrea Nichole; Maddox, Brenna; Pritchett, Jill; Herrington, John; Gillespie, Scott; Miller, Judith; Amoss, R. Toby; Aman, Michael G.; Bearss, Karen; Gadow, Kenneth; Edwards, Michael.

In: Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Scahill, L, Lecavalier, L, Schultz, RT, Evans, AN, Maddox, B, Pritchett, J, Herrington, J, Gillespie, S, Miller, J, Amoss, RT, Aman, MG, Bearss, K, Gadow, K & Edwards, M 2019, 'Development of the Parent-Rated Anxiety Scale for Youth With Autism Spectrum Disorder', Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2018.10.016
Scahill, Lawrence ; Lecavalier, Luc ; Schultz, Robert T. ; Evans, Andrea Nichole ; Maddox, Brenna ; Pritchett, Jill ; Herrington, John ; Gillespie, Scott ; Miller, Judith ; Amoss, R. Toby ; Aman, Michael G. ; Bearss, Karen ; Gadow, Kenneth ; Edwards, Michael. / Development of the Parent-Rated Anxiety Scale for Youth With Autism Spectrum Disorder. In: Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2019.
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abstract = "Objective: Anxiety is common in youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). There is no accepted outcome measure for anxiety in this population. Method: Following a series of focus groups with parents of youth with ASD, we generated 72 items (scored 0−3). Parents of 990 youth with ASD (aged 5−17 years; 80.8{\%} male) completed an online survey. Factor analysis and item response theory analyses reduced the content to a single factor with 25 items. Youth with at least mild anxiety (n = 116; aged 5−17 years; 79.3{\%} male) participated in a comprehensive clinical assessment to evaluate the validity and reliability of the 25-item Parent-Rated Anxiety Scale for ASD (PRAS-ASD). Results: In the online sample, the mean PRAS-ASD score was 29.04 ± 14.9 (range, 0−75). The coefficient α was 0.93. The item response theory results indicated excellent reliability across a wide range of scores with low standard errors. In the clinical sample (n = 116), the PRAS-ASD mean was 31.0 ± 15.6 (range, 1−65). Pearson correlations with parent ratings of ASD symptom severity, repetitive behavior, and disruptive behavior ranged 0.33 to 0.66, supporting divergent validity of the PRAS-ASD. Pearson correlation with a parent-rated measure of anxiety used in the general pediatric population of 0.83 supported convergent validity. A total of 40 participants (32 boys, 8 girls; mean age, 11.9 ± 3.4 years) returned at time 2 (mean, 12.2 days) and time 3 (mean, 24.2 days). Intraclass correlation showed test−retest reliabilities of 0.88 and 0.86 at time 2 and time 3, respectively. Conclusion: The 25-item PRAS-ASD is a reliable and valid scale for measuring anxiety in youth with ASD.",
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