Purpose: It designed to assess anxiety symptoms and severity in adults, which also helps in discriminate anxiety from depression in individuals.

Population: Adults (17-80).

Score: Yields a total score

Time: (5-10) minutes.

Author: Aaron T. Beck.

Publisher: The Psychological Corporation.

Description: The Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) was developed to assesses anxiety symptoms and symptoms severity that discriminates anxiety from depression while showing convergent validity.

Such an instrument would offer advantages for clinical and research purposes over existing self-report measures, which have not been shown to differentiate anxiety from depression adequately.

Scoring: The scale consists of 21 items, each describing a common symptom of anxiety. The respondent is asked to rate how much he or she has been bothered by each symptom over the past week on a 4-point scale ranging from 0 to 3.

4 – point Likert scale responses for anxiety symptoms and severity within 1 week:

  • 0 = Not at all
  • 1 = Mildly – It did not bother me much
  • 2 = Moderately – it wasn’t pleasant at times
  • 3 = Severely – I can barely stand it

The items are summed to obtain a total score that can range from 0 to 63.

Score interpretation:

  • 0-7 = minimal anxiety
  • 8-15 = mild anxiety
  • 16- 25 = moderate anxiety
  • 26- 63 = severe anxiety

Reliability: The scale obtained high internal consistency and item-total correlations ranging from .30 to .71 (median=.60). A subsample of patients (n=83) completed the BAI after 1 week, and the correlation between intake and 1-week BAI scores was (.75).

Validity: The correlations of the Beck Anxiety Inventory with a set of self-report and clinician-rated scales were all significant. The correlation of the BAI with the HARS-R and HRSD-R were .51 and .25, respectively.

The correlation of the BAI with the BDI was .48. Convergent and discriminant validity to discriminate homogeneous and heterogeneous diagnostic groups were ascertained from three studies. The results confirm the presence of these validities.

Norms: The three normative samples of psychiatric outpatients were drawn from consecutive routine evaluations at the Center for Cognitive Therapy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The total sample size was 1,086. There were 456 men and 630 women.

Suggested Uses: Recommended for use in assessing anxiety in clinical and research settings. 


  • Beck, A.T., Epstein, N., Brown, G., & Steer, R.A. (1988). An inventory for measuring clinical anxiety: Psychometric properties. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56, 893-897.

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Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2)


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