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The relationship between adolescent worry, intolerance of uncertainty, and fear of anxiety

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The relationship between adolescent worry, intolerance of uncertainty, and fear of anxiety

Laugesen, Nina (2007) The relationship between adolescent worry, intolerance of uncertainty, and fear of anxiety. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The primary goal of this research was to investigate the relationship between worry, intolerance of uncertainty, and fear of anxiety in a community sample of adolescents. Study 1 examined the association between adolescent worry, intolerance of uncertainty, and fear of anxiety ( N = 258). The results showed that intolerance of uncertainty and fear of anxiety were strongly, uniquely, and specifically related to adolescent worry above and beyond shared variance with gender, depression, and trait anxiety. The interaction between intolerance of uncertainty and fear of anxiety did not significantly predict worry above their separate and unique effects. Study 2 sought to delineate the normative adolescent trajectories of worry, intolerance of uncertainty, and fear of anxiety over time, and explored the longitudinal nature of the associations between worry and intolerance of uncertainty, and between worry and fear of anxiety ( N = 338). Data were collected from each participant twice a year for five years. The findings revealed modest, concave upward (i.e. U-shaped) trajectories for adolescent worry, intolerance of uncertainty, and fear of anxiety over the 10 assessment points. Gender differences in these trajectories were observed, with girls reporting more worry and fear of anxiety than boys across the study period. Unexpectedly, intolerance of uncertainty increased between the midpoint and endpoint of the study for girls, but not for boys. Support was found for a bidirectional and reciprocal relationship between adolescent worry and intolerance of uncertainty, with change in one partially mediating change in the other, even when controlling for depression and trait anxiety. Conversely, adolescent worry and fear of anxiety showed a predominantly unidirectional relationship, with change in worry showing a stronger mediational effect on change in fear of anxiety than vice versa, a result which remained once the variance with depression and trait anxiety was partialled out. Overall, the findings highlight the important role of cognitive processes, such as intolerance of uncertainty and fear of anxiety, in our understanding of adolescent worry. These findings have important implications for our understanding of worry during this critical period of development.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Laugesen, Nina
Pagination:xi, 178 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Psychology
Date:2007
Thesis Supervisor(s):Dugas, Michel
ID Code:975657
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:12
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:40
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