MASC Assess the major dimensions of anxiety in children and adolescents

Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children
John S. March, M.D.
Assess the major dimensions of anxiety
in children and adolescents
• Ages 8–19 years
• Administration Time: 15 minutes;
5 minute for MASC-10
• Self-Report 39 items;
10 items for MASC-10
• Handscored, Software, and Online formats
• B-Level User Qualification
• © 1997 MHS Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The past decade has seen a heightened
awareness by both mental health
providers and sufferers of the
relatively high prevalence and adverse
impact of anxiety disorders in
children and adolescents. In part,
this increased awareness has come
about because of research that uses
measures developed for youth,
as well as the formation of specialty
clinics created to study and treat
anxiety problems.
The MASC grew out of recognition
that new instruments were needed to
expand the scientific knowledge base
concerning the childhood onset of
anxiety disorders. It was developed
with the goal of identifying and
collecting data on a cross-section of
anxiety symptoms that are present in
anxious young persons. Only the most
important symptoms and symptom
dimensions have been included in the
MASC. Moreover, for each scale
and subscale, the specific items are
those that are psychometrically most
robust with respect to a particular
symptom domain.
The MASC was developed with the
following objectives in mind:
•T he scale should provide reliable
and valid assessments of anxiety
symptoms across clinically
important symptom domains,
•T he scale should distinguish
between important anxiety
symptoms, and
•T he scale should be sensitive to
treatment-induced changes in
symptom types and levels.
The MASC measures a cross-section
of anxiety problems and as such
can be used as a diagnostic aid.
The MASC can be used in
research settings where the
researcher needs to be able
to assess a diverse range
of anxiety dimensions. As
a routine screening device,
the MASC or the MASC-10
Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC ™ ), John S. March, M.D.
can be used in a number of settings
such as schools, outpatient clinics,
residential treatment centers, child
protective services, juvenile detention
centers, and private practice offices.
Potential users of the instrument
include psychologists, psychiatrists,
social workers, physicians, counselors,
teachers, and pediatric nurses. The
MASC is a useful tool for providing
the clinician with structured and
normed information about the
respondent. For monitoring treatment
progress, including the effects of
psychotherapy and prescribed drugs,
the MASC-10 was developed as a brief
assessment and for repeated testing.
User Qualifications
B-level qualification requires, as a
minimum, that the user has completed
courses in tests and measurement at
a post-secondary level. Professionals
with advanced training in psychological
assessment or from related disciplines
that adhere to relevant professional
standards must assume responsibility
for the use, interpretation, and
communication of results.
The various MASC scales were
normed on a large sample of 2,698
children and adolescents (1,261 males
and 1,437 females) attending several
different elementary, junior high, and
high schools in the United States.
All of the respondents used in the
normative sample were collected from
regular classes (children in special
education classes were excluded
from the study). The MASC Technical
Manual provides detailed demographic
information as well as a discussion of
age, gender, and ethnic differences.
Scientific Validation
The MASC consists of 39 items
distributed across four basic scales
(Physical Symptoms, Harm Avoidance,
Social Anxiety, and Separation/
Panic—three of which have subscales);
a scale measuring Total Anxiety, and
two major indexes (Anxiety Disorders
and Inconsistency). Refer to Diagram 1
shown below on this page.
The MASC is available in
“paper-and-pencil” QuikScore™ format
which is designed for easy hand
recording, scoring, and profiling of
responses. Administration resources
include the MASC Technical Manual
and QuikScore™ Form. No scoring
templates are necessary because the
respondent’s answers transfer through
to the concealed scoring page, and the
scores can be calculated easily.
Test reliability indicates the extent
to which individual differences in
test scores are attributable to “true”
differences in the characteristics
under consideration. Four types of
reliability information on the MASC
are presented in the Technical Manual:
For computer-based and web-enabled
assessments, custom integration
with your enterprise database,
or site-licensing arrangements,
the MASC for Windows™ is part
of the MHS Professional Tool
Suite. This sophisticated software
technology features SmartLink™, a
client-management platform. For
details about the capabilities and
configuration possibilities of the MHS
Professional Tool Suite, please refer
to the MHS Version 5 Software Quick
Start Guide available from MHS.
•Test-retest reliability, and
The Inconsistency Index is useful
in identifying random or careless
responding, and the Anxiety Disorders
Index is useful in identifying
respondents who might benefit from
a thorough clinical assessment.
The MASC utilizes a four-point,
Likert-style format in which respondents are asked to rate each item with
respect to their own experience.
The response options range from “0”
for “Never true about me” to “3” for
“Often true about me”. The MASC
generates 12 raw scores, not including
the Inconsistency Index. The scores are
then converted into standard T-scores
on the MASC Profile Form, which
provides a visual display of the youth’s
assessment scores and comparisons
with an appropriate normative group.
The MASC-10 was designed as a quick
and efficient unidimensional measure
that taps into the four basic anxiety
dimensions assessed on the MASC
and generates one raw total score.
It is particularly suited for group
testing situations.
A readability analysis of the MASC
was conducted using the Dale-Chall
formula, which indicated that the
MASC requires a North American
fourth-grade reading level.
•I nternal reliability
(i.e., internal consistency),
•Mean inter-item correlations,
•Standard error of
To support the validity of the MASC,
the Technical Manual also discusses:
•M ASC’s scale structure, which
is appropriate and valid both
empirically and theoretically
(factoral validity),
•M ASC’s ability to discriminate
between relevant groups
(discriminant validity), and
•Correlations with measures believed
to measure the same construct
(i.e., convergent validity).
MHS develops accurate translations
of assessments, published by MHS
as well as by other publishers,
using our worldwide network of
over 400 qualified translators with
backgrounds in psychology and
medicine. The MASC is available in
Afrikaans, Dutch, English, English
(South African), French (Canadian),
French (European), German,
Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Icelandic,
Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Spanish
(European), Spanish (U.S), Swedish,
and Turkish. For more information
about the availability of the MASC in
other languages, please contact the
MHS Translations Department.
Diverse case studies are provided
in the Technical Manual to show
application of the MASC in a
number of situations and contexts
and to clarify the use of the MASC
in actual practice.
Continued on next page…
Diagram 1
Anxious Coping
Supporting Literature
Keller, M.B., Lavori, P. W.,
Wunder, J., Beardslee, W. R.,
Schwartz, C. E., & Roth, J. (1992).
Chronic course of anxiety disorders
in children and adolescents. Journal of
American Academy of Child & Adolescent
Psychiatry, 31, 595–599.
Last, C. G., Hersen, M.,
Kazdin, A. E., Orvaschel, H., &
Perrin, S. (1991). Anxiety disorders in
children and their families. Archives of
General Psychiatry, 48, 928–934.
March, J. S., Parker, J. D. A.,
Sullivan, K., Stallings, P., &
Conners, C. K. (1997).
The Multidimensional Anxiety Scales
for Children (MASC): Factor structure,
reliability, and validity. Journal
of American Academy of Child and
Adolescent Psychiatry, 36, 554–565.
• Children’s Depression Inventory
2nd Edition (CDI 2™)
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Rating Scales™ (Conners CBRS™)
•Conners Early Childhood
(Conners EC™)
•Feelings, Attitudes, and Behaviors
Scale for Children (FAB–C™)
•D iagnostic Interview for Children
and Adolescents-IV (DICA–IV™)
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and partners around the
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MASC 09/10 Printed in Canada
Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC ™ ), John S. March, M.D.