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A Measure of Positive and Negative Affect for Children: Scale Development and Preliminary Validation

by Jeff Laurent, Salvatore J. Catanzaro, Thomas E. Joiner, Jr., Karen D. Rudolph, Kirsten I. Potter, Sharon Lambert, Lori Osborne, Tamara Gathright show all authors
Psychological Assessment ()


A child version of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS; D. Watson, L. A. Clark, & A. Tellegen, 1988), the PANAS–C, was developed using students in Grades 4–8 (N = 707). Item selection was based on psychometric and theoretical grounds. The resulting Negative Affect (NA) and Positive Affect (PA) scales demonstrated good convergent and discriminant validity with existing self-report measures of childhood anxiety and depression; the PANAS–C performed much like its adult namesake. Overall, the PANAS–C, like the adult PANAS, is a brief, useful measure that can be used to differentiate anxiety from depression in youngsters. As such, this instrument addresses the shortcomings of existing measures of childhood anxiety and depression.

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