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© 2017, The Author(s). The Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale—Parent version (SCAS-P) is often used to assess anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), however, little is known about the validity of the tool in this population. The aim of this study was to determine whether the SCAS-P has the same factorial validity in a sample of young people with ASD (n = 285), compared to a sample of typically developing young people with anxiety disorders (n = 224). Poor model fit with all of the six hypothesised models precluded invariance testing. Exploratory factor analysis indicated that different anxiety phenomenology characterises the two samples. The findings suggest that cross-group comparisons between ASD and anxious samples based on the SCAS-P scores may not always be appropriate.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

Publication Date





3834 - 3846