ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 6, Issue 2, 168-184, 2015
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The Speech Performance Observation Scale for Youth (SPOSY): Assessing Social Performance Characteristics Related to Social Anxiety

  Anke Blöte - Institute of Psychology, Unit of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Leiden University, The Netherlands
  Apiradee Poungjit - Institute of Psychology, Unit of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Leiden University, The Netherlands
  Anne Miers - Institute of Psychology, Unit of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Leiden University, The Netherlands
  Yolanda Van Beek - Department of Developmental Psychology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
  Michiel Westenberg - Institute of Psychology, Unit of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Leiden University, The Netherlands

Volume 6, Issue 2, 2015, Pages 168-184

This study describes the development of the SPOSY, an observation scale for speech performance of socially anxious youth. The scale was designed as a research tool to address specific behaviors that are readily noticed by non-expert others and might explain why socially anxious youth are rejected by peers. In Phase 1 of the study, items for the scale were generated based on “free” observations by naive observers. In Phase 2, the psychometric properties of the scale were evaluated using a sample of 218 speakers aged between 9 and 16 years. PCA with oblimin rotation yielded three reliable and stable factors, Expressiveness, Lack of confidence, and Agitation. Expressiveness was negatively related to Lack of confidence. Importantly, socially anxious youth were rated as less expressive and confident but not as more agitated in their behavior as compared to non- socially anxious youth. Low expressiveness seems related to safety behaviors and may play a significant role in peer rejection.

Table of Contents
Phase 1: Scale Development
  Procedure speakers
  Procedure observers
 Results and discussion
Phase 2: Psychometric Properties of the SPOSY and its Relation to Social Anxiety
  Procedure speakers and selection anxiety groups
  Procedure SPOSY ratings
  Data analysis
  Factor structure of the SPOSY
  Reliability of the subscales
  Concurrent validity
  Relation with age and gender
  Discriminative validity
General Discussion
Appendix A. Frequencies (Percentages) of 33 Categories of 1440 Spontaneous Observations for LSA, HSA, and Total Group of Adolescents

Correspondence to
Anke W. Blöte, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden, The Netherlands.

Adolescents, Assessment, Social anxiety, Social skill, Speech task

Received 29 Oct 2013; Revised 23 Aug 2014; Accepted 4 Dec 2014; In Press 8 Jul 2015

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