Measurement of Anxiety in Children and Adolescents Using Semistructured Interviews


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27 Scopus citations


The contribution of anxiety to psychopathology in children and adolescents is less well understood than in adults. The Children's Anxiety Evaluation Form (CAEF), based on history, signs, and symptoms obtained through semistructured interviews, was developed to measure anxiety levels in nonpsychotic children of normal intelligence. Sixty-three inpatients, average age 11.6, were assessed using the CAEF, the self-rated State-Trait Inventory for Children (STAIC), and Reynolds and Richmond's Revised Measure of Children's Manifest Anxiety (RCMAS). CAEF scores differentiated patients independently diagnosed on discharge as having anxiety disorders from those who were diagnosed as oppositional disorder, nonaggressive conduct disorders, aggressive conduct disorders, and dysthymic disorders. Patients with nonaggressive conduct disorders scored lower on the CAEF than did those with aggressive conduct disorders and dysthymic disorders. Despite a positive correlation between CAEF and STAIC trait scores and with RCMAS, the STAIC and RCMAS failed to differentiate diagnostic groups. The data support the importance of interviewing in assessment of anxiety levels. The different anxiety levels in two groups of conduct disorders may have important therapeutic implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-545
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987


  • aggression
  • anxiety
  • measurement
  • semistructured interview

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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