Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 521–539

A confirmatory factor-analytic investigation of the tripartite model of depression and anxiety in college students


  • Thomas E. JoinerJr.
    • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

DOI: 10.1007/BF02227911

Cite this article as:
Joiner, T.E. Cogn Ther Res (1996) 20: 521. doi:10.1007/BF02227911


The tripartite model of depression and anxiety suggests that depression and anxiety possess shared (generalized negative affect) and specific (low positive affect and physiological hyperarousal) components. In one of the first studies to examine the model using LISREL confirmatory factor-analytic techniques and an array of different self-report measures, 205 undergraduates completed measures of depression, anxiety, self-esteem, and positive and negative affect. Consistent with the tripartite model, a three-factor model—with depression, anxiety, and negative affect as factors—provided a good fit to the observed data, whereas one- and two-factor models did not. In the three-factor model, low positive affect was a specific indicator of depression; physiological hyperarousal was a specific indicator of anxiety; and nonspecific indicators, such as negative mood, made up the negative affect factor.

Key words

tripartite modeldepressionanxietypositive and negative affectconfirmatory factor analysis

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996