Cultural Validity and the Measurement of Social Anxiety: Asian American Groups are not Psychometrically Equivalent
The present study examined the psychometric ethnic equivalence of the Social Phobia Scale (SPS) and the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SIAS). Results from a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) revealed a 3-factor solution for the South-Asian American sample that largely resembles results found in prior research conducted with Caucasian American samples. An exploratory factor analysis for the East-Asian American sample revealed a 5- factor solution. Four of the five factors consisted of items from both scales indicating the two scales do not assess social interaction versus social performance anxiety exclusively among East-Asian Americans. For both groups, correlations among measure total scores and individual factors indicated ethnic identity and self-construal did not influence the expression of social anxiety on these self-report scales. These findings suggest that the construct of social anxiety as measured by these scales differs between Asian American cultures and highlights the need to consider culture in the interpretation of these scales.