Psychometric Properties of the Safety Maneuver Scale for Adolescents (SMS-A) and Relationship to Outcomes of a Transdiagnostic Treatment

Sarah M. Kennedy, Jill Ehrenreich May

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Safety behaviors are common in anxiety and have been thought to reduce the efficacy of exposure therapy, although some investigations have indicated that safety behaviors may have a non-significant or beneficial impact on exposure efficacy. There have been few investigations of the characteristics and impact of safety behavior use in youth compared to adults, and no known validated, transdiagnostic youth measure of safety behaviors exists. In Study 1, we investigated the psychometric properties of a transdiagnostic measure of adolescent safety behavior use. In Study 2, we examined the relationship between safety behavior use and treatment outcome in 51 anxious and depressed adolescents. Results of Study 1 supported the measure’s psychometric properties, while results of Study 2 revealed that decreased safety behavior use is associated with better treatment outcomes. This investigation supports the importance of safety behavior reduction and provides a tool for further investigating adolescent safety behavior use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Exposure
  • Safety behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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