Factor structure of social fears: The Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale

Steven A. Safren, Richard G. Heimberg, Kelly J. Horner, Harlan R. Juster, Franklin R. Schneier, Michael R. Liebowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


In the assessment of social anxiety, investigators often differentiate between social interactional anxiety and performance anxiety. The Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS), a clinician-administered measure of social anxiety and avoidance, was originally developed with separate subscales for the assessment of fear and avoidance of situations involving social interaction and performance/observation by others. Separate confirmatory factor analyses of the LSAS fear and avoidance ratings demonstrated that this two-factor model did not provide an adequate fit to the data, suggesting the need to further investigate the underlying structure of the LSAS. Separate exploratory common factor analyses of the fear and avoidance ratings yielded four similar factors for each: (1) social interaction, (2) public speaking, (3) observation by others, and (4) eating and drinking in public, which demonstrated convergent and discriminant validity with other measures of social anxiety. These findings suggest that there are four global categories of social fear assessed by the LSAS, and that while social interaction anxiety appears to be unifactorial, fear of performance/observation situations may be multifactorial. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-270
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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