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The Discrimination of Children's Phobias Using the Revised Fear Survey Schedule for Children

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The discriminant validity of children's and parents' ratings of the child's fear on the Revised Fear Survey Schedule for Children (FSSC-R; Ollendick, 1983) was examined using a clinic sample of children who met DSM criteria for phobic disorders (N = 120). Discriminant function analyses and item analyses were conducted to determine if children meeting diagnostic criteria for a primary disorder of social phobia, simple phobia of the dark/sleeping alone, simple phobia of animals, or a simple phobia of shots/doctors could be differentiated on the basis of FSSC-R subscale scores and items. Results of the discriminant function analyses indicated that the child-completed as well as the parent-completed FSSC-Rs were similarly useful in differentiating the specific types of phobias. Results of the item analyses indicated that child-completed FSSC-R items could discriminate among the different simple phobias but not social phobia and that parent-completed FSSC-R items could discriminate not only the different simple phobias but also social phobia. Results are discussed in terms of the utility of the FSSC-R in the assessment of clinically significant fears in children with phobic disorders and the relative utility of child and parent ratings in the assessment of childhood fears.
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Keywords: Anxiety; assessment; fears; parent-child concordance; phobia; rating-scales

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Child and Family Psychosocial Research Center, Florida International University, Miami, U.S.A.

Publication date: September 1, 1999

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