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Screening Tool: Anxiety (SCARED, 5-item) in Children/Youth

This survey is designed to provide a quick assessment of whether or not a child/youth might have signs and symptoms related to anxiety. However, no test is 100% accurate. No matter what your score is, you should seek help if you have any concerns about yourself or your loved ones.


This questionnaire is the SCARED (5-item), and is meant to be filled out by a child/youth.


Please ask the child/youth to fill out the following:


Below is a list of sentences that describe how people feel.


Read each phrase and decide if it is

  • “Not True or Hardly Ever True” (0)
  • “Somewhat True or Sometimes True” (1) or
  • “Very True or Often True” for you (2)

Then, for each sentence, fill in one circle that corresponds to the response that seems to describe you for the last 3 months. 

1. I get really frightened for no reason at all.
2. I am afraid to be alone in the house.
3. People tell me that I worry too much.
4. I am scared to go to school.
5. I am shy.

Special thanks to Dr. Boris Birmaher for permission to use the SCARED (5-item).


For more information about this screening tool:
Birmaher B, Brent D, Chiapetta L, Bridge J, Monga S, Baugher M: Psychometric Properties of the Screen for Child Anxiety Emotional Disorders (SCARED): A Replication Study, J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry, 1999; 38(10): 1230-1236. Sensitivity is 74% and the specificity is 73%. [PubMed URL]
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