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The social basis of worry in three samples: High-school students, University students, and older adults

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Mark FreestonORCiD


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Comorbidity data between Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Social Phobia, studies of frequently reported worry themes, and various correlational studies have led to the idea that worries may have a social basis. This study investigates the social basis of worry in three samples with different ages. The samples consisted of 224 high-school students, 607 undergraduate students, and 125 older adults. All participants completed the Worry Domains Questionnaire (WDQ) and the Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ). We hypothesized that for each sample, the first factor extracted following factor analysis on WDQ items would reflect the most social content, and that social-related factors would be the best predictors of the global tendency to worry as measured by the PSWQ. Results supported the hypotheses with the exception of older adults, for whom the first extracted factor was not as obviously social as for the other two samples. Possible explanations are considered and theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ladouceur R, Freeston MH, Fournier S, Dugas MJ, Doucet C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy

Year: 2002

Volume: 30

Issue: 4

Pages: 427-438

ISSN (print): 1352-4658

ISSN (electronic): 1469-1833

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S1352465802004046


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