Development and validation of the Ryerson Social Anxiety Scales (RSAS) Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Background: Extant self-report measures of social anxiety primarily assess the breadth of social situations in which respondents feel anxious, rather than assessing severity in terms of the distress and impairment that individuals experience due to their social anxiety symptoms. This paper describes the development and validation of the Ryerson Social Anxiety Scales (RSAS; Rogojanski et al., 2019; see Appendix), a new measure for assessing both the breadth of situations that trigger social anxiety and the severity (i.e., distress and impairment) associated with social anxiety, across two studies.Method/Design: Two samples of university students (N = 501 total) completed demographic and self-report symptom measures. In Study 1, participants completed the RSAS and several other measures of psychological symptoms. In Study 2, participants completed the same measures and were also assessed for the presence of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) using a semistructured clinical interview.Results: Across both samples, the RSAS demonstrated excellent internal consistency and incremental validity. It consistently emerged as a unique predictor of psychosocial impairment. In Study 2, increases in RSAS scores were associated with increased odds of having SAD.Conclusions: The RSAS has robust psychometric properties and fills an important gap among available measures for assessing SAD severity.

publication date

  • June 1, 2020