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Development and preliminary validation of the Constructive and Unconstructive Worry Questionnaire: A measure of individual differences in constructive versus unconstructive worry.

TitleDevelopment and preliminary validation of the Constructive and Unconstructive Worry Questionnaire: A measure of individual differences in constructive versus unconstructive worry.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsMcNeill, IM, Dunlop, PD
JournalPsychological Assessment
Volume28
Issue11
Start Page1368
Pagination1368-1378
Date Published11/2016
Abstract

This article presents a measure of individual differences in the tendencies to worry constructively and unconstructively, called the Constructive and Unconstructive Worry Questionnaire (CUWQ). The measure is based on a control theory perspective of worry and separates the tendency to worry in a way that facilitates goal-pursuit and threat reduction (constructive worry) from the tendency to worry in a way that hinders goal-pursuit while sustaining threat awareness (unconstructive worry). CUWQ scores were validated in 2 independent nonclinical samples, including North American (Sample 1, N = 295) and Australian (Sample 2, N = 998) residents. Final factor items were selected based on Sample 1, and the measure showed good model fit through a confirmatory factor analysis in Sample 2. In addition, scores on the 2 worry factors showed criterion-related validity by statistically predicting a variety of outcomes in both samples: Constructive worry was positively associated with punctuality and wildfire preparedness and negatively associated with trait-anxiety and amount of worry. Unconstructive worry, on the other hand, was positively associated with trait-anxiety and amount of worry, and negatively associated with punctuality and wildfire preparedness. The 2 factor scores were uncorrelated in Sample 1 and positively correlated in Sample 2, thereby showing that having a tendency to worry in an unconstructive manner does not prohibit 1 from worrying in a constructive manner as well. Understanding how the 2 tendencies to worry differ from each other and separating their measurement enables a better understanding of the role of worry in both normal behavior and psychopathology.

URLhttp://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/pas0000266
DOI10.1037/pas0000266
Refereed DesignationRefereed
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