Title

A Taxometric Investigation of the Latent Structure of Worry: Dimensionality and Associations With Depression, Anxiety, and Stress

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-1-2010

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Worry has been described as a core feature of several disorders, particularly generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The present study examined the latent structure of worry by applying 3 taxometric procedures (MAXEIG, MA/VIBAC, and L-Mode) to data collected from 2 large samples. Worry in the first sample (Study 1) of community participants (n=1,355) was operationalized by worry engagement, absence of worry, and the worry feature of trait anxiety. Worry in the second sample (Study 2) of undergraduate participants (n=1,171) was operationalized by the tendency to experience worry, intolerance of uncertainty, beliefs about worry, and symptoms of GAD. Results across both samples provided converging evidence that worry is best conceptualized as a dimensional construct, present to a greater or lesser extent in all individuals. Findings from Study 2 also indicated that the latent dimension of worry generally has an equal association with symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress across the entire continuum. These findings are discussed in relation to the conceptualization and assessment of worry in GAD and related disorders.

Publication Title

Behavior Therapy

Volume

41

Issue

2

First Page

212

Last Page

228