Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents (SAS-A): Measuring social anxiety among Finnish Adolescents

Klaus Ranta, Niina Junttila, Eero Laakkonen, Anni Uhmavaara, Annette M. La Greca, Päivi M. Niemi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Abstract The aim of this study was to investigate symptoms of social anxiety and the psychometric properties of the Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents (SAS-A) among Finnish adolescents 13-16 years of age. Study 1 (n = 867) examined the distribution of SAS-A scores according to gender and age and the internal consistency and factor structure of the SAS-A. In a subsample (n = 563; Study 2) concurrent and discriminant validity of the SAS-A were examined relative to the Social Phobia Inventory and the Beck Depression Inventory. Test-retest stability was examined over a 30-month period by repeated measures every 6 months in another subsample (n = 377; Study 3). Results mostly revealed no gender differences in social anxiety except that boys reported more general social avoidance and distress than girls. Older adolescents (14-16-year-olds) reported higher social anxiety than younger adolescents (12-13-year-olds). Internal consistency for the SAS-A was acceptable for both genders and for all three SAS-A subscales. Confirmatory factor analysis replicated the original 18-item three-factor structure of the SAS-A accounting for 61% of the variance between items. Evidence for concurrent and discriminant validity was found. Test-retest stability over 6 months was satisfactory. Results support the reliability and validity of the Finnish adaptation of the SAS-A and further indicate that gender differences in adolescents' social anxiety may vary across Western countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)574-591
Number of pages18
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012


  • Adolescents
  • Factor structure
  • Reliability
  • Social anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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