JOURNAL ARTICLE

Social anxiety and fear of negative evaluation: construct validity of the BFNE-II

R Nicholas Carleton, Kelsey C Collimore, Gordon J G Asmundson
Journal of Anxiety Disorders 2007, 21 (1): 131-41
16675196
The Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale [BFNE; Leary, M. R. (1983). A brief version of the Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 9, 371-375] is a self-report measure designed to assess fear of negative evaluation, a characteristic feature of social anxiety disorders [Rapee, R. M., & Heimberg, R. G. (1997). A cognitive-behavioral model of anxiety in social phobia. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 35, 741-756]. Recent psychometric assessments have suggested that a 2-factor model is most appropriate, with the first factor comprising the straightforwardly worded items and the second factor comprising the reverse-worded items [Carleton, R. N., McCreary, D., Norton, P. J., & Asmundson, G. J. G. (in press-a). The Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale, Revised. Depression & Anxiety; Rodebaugh, T. L., Woods, C. M., Thissen, D. M., Heimberg, R. G., Chambless, D. L., & Rapee, R. M. (2004). More information from fewer questions: the factor structure and item properties of the original and brief fear of negative evaluation scale. Psychological Assessment, 2, 169-181; Weeks, J. W., Heimberg, R. G., Fresco, D. M., Hart, T. A., Turk, C. L., Schneier, F. R., et al. (2005). Empirical validation and psychometric evaluation of the Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale in patients with social anxiety disorder. Psychological Assessment, 17, 179-190]. Some researchers recommend the reverse-worded items be removed from scoring [e.g., Rodebaugh, T. L., Woods, C. M., Thissen, D. M., Heimberg, R. G., Chambless, D. L., & Rapee, R. M. (2004). More information from fewer questions: the factor structure and item properties of the original and brief fear of negative evaluation scale. Psychological Assessment, 2, 169-181; Weeks, J. W., Heimberg, R. G., Fresco, D. M., Hart, T. A., Turk, C. L., Schneier, F. R., et al. (2005). Empirical validation and psychometric evaluation of the Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale in patients with social anxiety disorder. Psychological Assessment, 17, 179-190]; however [Carleton, R. N., McCreary, D., Norton, P. J., & Asmundson, G. J. G. (in press-a). The Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale, Revised. Depression & Anxiety; Collins, K. A., Westra, H. A., Dozois, D. J. A., & Stewart, S. H. (2005). The validity of the brief version of the fear of negative evaluation scale. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 19, 345-359] recommend that these items be reworded to maintain scale sensitivity. The present study examined the reliability and validity of the BFNE-II, a version of the BFNE evaluating revisions of the reverse-worded items in a community sample. A unitary model of the BFNE-II resulted in excellent confirmatory factor analysis fit indices. Moderate convergent and discriminant validity were found when BFNE-II items were correlated with additional independent measures of social anxiety [i.e., Social Interaction Anxiety & Social Phobia Scales; Mattick, R. P., & Clarke, J. C. (1998). Development and validation of measures of social phobia scrutiny fear and social interaction anxiety. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 36, 455-470], and fear [i.e., Anxiety Sensitivity Index; Reiss, S., & McNally, R. J. (1985). The expectancy model of fear. In S. Reiss, R. R. Bootzin (Eds.), Theoretical issues in behaviour therapy (pp. 107--121). New York: Academic Press. and the Illness/Injury Sensitivity Index; Carleton, R. N., Park, I., & Asmundson, G. J. G. (in press-b). The Illness/Injury Sensitivity Index: an examination of construct validity. Depression & Anxiety). These findings support the utility of the revised items and the validity of the BFNE-II as a measure of the fear of negative evaluation. Implications and future research directions are discussed.

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