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Social Avoidance and Distress Scale

Social Avoidance and Distress Scale

What is SAD Scale

The Social Avoidance and Distress (SAD) scale is a scale to assess levels of Social Avoidance and Distress (SAD). The SAD scale is divided into two subscales, social avoidance and social distress. Social avoidance is defined as avoiding being with, talking to, or escaping from others for any reason. Social distress is defined as the reported experience of a negative emotion, such as being upset, distressed, tense, or anxious, in social interactions, or the reported lack of negative emotion, such as being relaxed, calm, at ease, or comfortable.

SAD Scale Printable PDF

You can create a free account on PsyPack to access fillable PDFs, manuals and educational resources for the SAD Scale

SAD Scale Scoring and Interpretation

The SAD scale has 28 items. The response set in a true-false format.

The SAD scale is evenly divided between true and false items.

The distribution of the SAD was skewed. Although the modal score was zero, the mean was 9.11, the median was 7, and the standard deviation was 8.01.

There were differences between the sexes in scores. The mean scores on the SAD were: males, (N = 60) 11.20; females (N = 145) 8.24. This difference is significant (t = 2.64, p<.01). Males reported more social avoidance and distress than females.

PsyPack can automatically score the SAD Scale assessment and prepare corresponding tables and graphs.

SAD Scale sample result

Further, PsyPack automatically plots a graph to help you easily track progress over time.

SAD Scale track progress

Sample Report of SAD Scale


Social Phobia, Social Anxiety

What does SAD Scale measure

The purpose of the evaluation is to:

  • assess levels of Social Avoidance and Distress (SAD).



Type of outcome tool


Assessment modes


Age and eligibility

Students, Adults

Estimated time

About 5 minutes


Since the questionnaire relies on client self-report, all responses should be verified by the clinician, and a definitive diagnosis is made on clinical grounds taking into account how well the client understood the questionnaire, as well as other relevant information from the client.

Attribution and References

Watson, D., & Friend, R. (1969). Measurement of social-evaluative anxiety. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 33(4), 448–457.