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Anxiety sensitivity, metacognitions, and generalized anxiety disorder symptoms

Faculty Advisor




anxiety sensitivity, metacognitions, generalized anxiety disorder

Abstract (summary)

Previous research has established that anxiety sensitivity (AS) and metacognitions are both associated with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). AS consists of social concerns, cognitive concerns, and physical concerns about the negative impact of anxiety symptoms. Metacognitions are thoughts and beliefs about one’s cognitions, and both positive and negative beliefs about worry are key metacognitions in GAD. This study examined the unique contributions of these metacognitions and facets of AS on worry severity and GAD symptoms. An undergraduate sample (N = 150) completed self-report questionnaires of GAD symptoms, worry severity, AS, and metacognitions. Moderate to strong bivariate correlations were found between all variables. The results of multiple regression equations revealed that social concerns of AS, positive beliefs about worry, and negative beliefs about worry were uniquely associated with both GAD symptoms and worry severity. Additionally, negative beliefs about worry remained the only significant predictor of GAD symptoms when controlling for worry severity. These findings agree with previous research that negative beliefs about worry are a robust predictor of GAD symptoms. This serves to further highlight negative beliefs about worry’s connection with GAD, and indicates that therapists may wish to focus on negative beliefs about worry more than AS when treating GAD.

Publication Information



Presented on June 25, 2023 at The Canadian Psychological Association annual convention held at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto, Ontario.

Item Type

Student Presentation



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