EXAMINATION OF THE KNOWN-GROUPS VALIDITY OF THE LIEBOWITZ SOCIAL ANXIETY SCALE


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Abstract

We examined the known-groups validity of the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) by comparing the scores of patients with social anxiety disorder (n = 46), generalized anxiety disorder plus an additional diagnosis of social anxiety disorder (n = 15), generalized anxiety disorder without social anxiety disorder (n = 12), and nonanxious controls (n = 34). The LSAS total score discriminated significantly among all pairs of groups. Similar analyses were conducted on the original LSAS subscales and additional subscales derived from the factoranalytic work ofSafren et al. [1999]. Original subscales showed a pattern substantially similar to that of the total score, but subscale intercorrelations and total score-subscale correlations were extremely high, suggesting that these subscales do not provide much unique information beyond that provided by the total score. Factor-analytically derived subscales were less highly correlated with each other or with the LSAS total score. Although the pattern of differences was more variable across subscales, the factor-analytically derived subscales, in conjunction with the total score, may provide more nonredundant information of clinical relevance than the original subscales. Limitations and future directions for research on the LSAS are discussed.

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