Advertisement

Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 47–56 | Cite as

Thought Control Strategies in Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • Meredith E. Coles
  • Richard G. Heimberg
Article

Abstract

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive anxiety and worry that is difficult to control; but methods of thought control among persons with GAD have not been previously investigated. Forty-two patients with GAD and 55 non-anxious controls (NACs) completed the Thought Control Questionnaire (TCQ; A. Wells & M. I. Davies, 1994). Patients with GAD reported significantly greater use of worry and punishment strategies, and less use of distraction and social control strategies, than NACs. Further, worry and punishment strategies were positively correlated with depressive symptoms and excessive worry, while distraction and social control strategies were negatively correlated with these measures of psychopathology. Higher life satisfaction was associated with greater use of distraction and social control strategies, and lesser use of worry and punishment strategies.

Key words

generalized anxiety disorder thought control strategies 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abramowitz, J. S., Whiteside, S. A., Kalsy, S. A., & Tolin, D. F. (2003). Thought control strategies in obsessive–compulsive disorder: A replication and extension. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 41, 529–540.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  3. Amir, N., Cashman, L., & Foa, E. B. (1997). Strategies of thought control in obsessive–compulsive disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 35, 775–777.Google Scholar
  4. Beck, A. T., Rush, A. J., Shaw, B. F., & Emery, G. (1979). Cognitive therapy of depression. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  5. Beck, A. T., Steer, R. A., & Garbin, M. G. (1988). Psychometric properties of the Beck Depression Inventory: Twenty-five years of evaluation. Clinical Psychology Review, 8, 77–100.Google Scholar
  6. Borkovec, T. D. (1994). The nature, functions, and origins of worry. In G. C. L. Davey & F. Tallis (Eds.), Worrying: Perspectives on theory, assessment and treatment. (pp. 5–33). Chichester, UK: Wiley.Google Scholar
  7. Borkovec, T. D. (2002). Life in the future versus life in the present. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 9, 76–80.Google Scholar
  8. Borkovec, T. D., Alcaine, O., & Behar, E. (2004). Avoidance theory of worry and generalized anxiety disorder. In R. G. Heimberg, C. L. Turk, & D. S. Mennin (Eds.), Generalized anxiety disorder: Advances in research and practice (pp. 77–108). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  9. Borkovec, T. D., & Inz, J. (1990). The nature of worry in generalised anxiety disorder: A predominance of thought activity. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 28, 153–158.Google Scholar
  10. Borkovec, T. D., Newman, M. G., Pincus, A. L., & Lytle, R. (2002). A component analysis of cognitive-behavioral therapy for generalized anxiety disorder and the role of interpersonal problems. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 70, 288–298.Google Scholar
  11. Brown, T. A., Antony, M. M., & Barlow, D. H. (1992). Psychometric properties of the Penn State Worry Questionnaire in a clinical anxiety disorders sample. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 30, 33–37.Google Scholar
  12. Brown, T. A., DiNardo, P. A., Lehman, C. L., & Campbell, L. A. (2001). Reliability of DSM-IV anxiety and mood disorders: Implications for the classification of emotional disorders. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 110, 49–58.Google Scholar
  13. Crits-Christoph, P. (2002). Psychodynamic-interpersonal treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 9, 81–84.Google Scholar
  14. DiNardo, P. A., Brown, T. A., & Barlow, D. H. (1994). Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for DSM-IV: Lifetime Version (ADIS-IV-L). San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  15. Foa, E. B., & Kozak, M. J. (1986). Emotional processing of fear: Exposure to corrective information. Psychological Bulletin, 99, 20–35.Google Scholar
  16. Freeston, M. H., Rhéaume, J., Letarte, H., Dugas, M. J., & Ladouceur, R. (1994). Why do people worry? Personality and Individual Differences, 17, 791–802.Google Scholar
  17. Frisch, M. B. (1994). Quality of Life Inventory: Manual and treatment guide. Minneapolis, MN: National Computer Systems.Google Scholar
  18. Frisch, M. B., Cornell, J., Villanueva, M., & Retzlaff, P. J. (1992). Clinical validation of the Quality of Life Inventory: A measure of life satisfaction for use in treatment planning and outcome assessment. Psychological Assessment, 4, 92–101.Google Scholar
  19. Holeva, V., Tarrier, N., & Wells, A. (2001). Prevalence and predictors of acute stress disorder and PTSD following road traffic accidents: Thought control strategies and social support. Behavior Therapy, 32, 65–83.Google Scholar
  20. Mennin, D. S., Turk, C. L., Heimberg, R. G., & Carmin, C. (2003). Focusing on the regulation of emotion: A new direction for conceptualizing and treating generalized anxiety disorder. In M. A. Reinecke & D. A. Clark (Eds.), Cognitive therapy over the lifespan: Theory, research and practice (pp. 60–89). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  21. Meyer, T. J., Miller, M. L., Metzger, R. L., & Borkovec, T. D. (1990). Development and validation of the Penn State Worry Questionnaire. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 28, 487–495.Google Scholar
  22. Molina, S., & Borkovec, T. D. (1994). The Penn State Worry Questionnaire: Psychometric properties and associated characteristics. In G. C. L. Davey & F. Tallis (Eds.), Worrying: Perspectives on theory, assessment and treatment (pp. 265–283). Chichester, UK: Wiley.Google Scholar
  23. Newman, M. G., Castonguay, L. G., Borkovec, T. D., & Molnar, C. (2004). Integrative therapy for generalized anxiety disorder. In R. G. Heimberg, C. L. Turk, & D. S. Mennin (Eds.), Generalized anxiety disorder: Advances in research and practice (pp. 320–350). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  24. Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (1987). Sex differences in unipolar depression: Evidence and theory. Psychological Bulletin, 101, 259–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Reynolds, M., & Wells, M. (1999). The Thought Control Questionnaire: Psychometric properties in a clinical sample, and relationship with PTSD and depression. Psychological Medicine, 29, 1089–1099.Google Scholar
  26. Roemer, L., & Orsillo, S. M. (2002). Expanding our conceptualization of and treatment for generalized anxiety disorder: Integrating mindfullness/acceptance based approaches with existing cognitive-behavioral models. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 9, 54–68.Google Scholar
  27. Turk, C. L., Heimberg, R. G., & Mennin, D. S. (2004). Assessment of worry and generalized anxiety disorder. In R. G. Heimberg, C. L. Turk, & D. S. Mennin (Eds.), Generalized anxiety disorder: Advances in research and practice (pp. 219–247). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  28. Warda, G., & Bryant, R. A. (1998). Thought control strategies in acute stress disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 36, 1171–1175.Google Scholar
  29. Wells, A. (1994). A multi-dimensional measure of worry: Development and preliminary validation of the anxious thoughts inventory. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 6, 289–299.Google Scholar
  30. Wells, A. (2004). A cognitive model of GAD: Metacognitions and pathological worry. In R. G. Heimberg, C. L. Turk, & D. S. Mennin (Eds.), Generalized anxiety disorder: Advances in research and practice (pp. 164–186). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  31. Wells, A., & Davies, M. I. (1994). The Thought Control Questionnaire: A measure of individual differences in the control of unwanted thoughts. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 32, 871–878.Google Scholar
  32. Wells, A., & Papageorgiou, C. (1995). Worry and incubation of intrusive images following stress. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 35, 579–583.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBinghamton UniversityBinghamtonNew York
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyAdult Anxiety Clinic of Temple University, Temple UniversityBinghamtonNew York
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyBinghamton University (SUNY)BinghamtonNew York

Personalised recommendations