The Pediatric Anxiety Rating Scale (PARS): development and psychometric properties.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the development and psychometric properties of the Pediatric Anxiety Rating Scale (PARS), a clinician-rated instrument for assessing the severity of anxiety symptoms associated with common DSM-IV anxiety disorders (social phobia, separation anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder) in children. METHOD: As part of a multisite study of the efficacy of fluvoxamine, 128 children (aged 6-17) and their parents were interviewed weekly with the PARS. Data from multiple raters on a subsample of children (using live and videotaped interviews) were used to evaluate interrater reliability. Internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and validity (convergent, divergent) also were evaluated. RESULTS: The PARS showed high interrater reliability, adequate test-retest reliability, and fair internal consistency. Convergent and divergent validity were satisfactory. PARS scores were sensitive to treatment and paralleled change in other measures of anxiety symptoms and global improvement. CONCLUSIONS: The PARS is a useful clinician-rated instrument for assessing pediatric anxiety symptoms, severity, and impairment, particularly in treatment studies. Further study of the psychometric properties is warranted.
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