Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 107–121 | Cite as

The Metacognitive Model of GAD: Assessment of Meta-Worry and Relationship With DSM-IV Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • Adrian Wells


The metacognitive model of GAD places negative metacognitive beliefs and meta-worry as central in the development and maintenance of disorder. The present study examined the psychometric properties of the Meta-worry Questionnaire (MWQ) and used it to test hypotheses derived from the metacognitive model in the context of DSM-IV GAD. The MWQ was found to possess very good internal reliability, and both frequency and belief scales were found to consist of single factors. The scales correlated meaningfully with existing measures of worry and metacognition. Consistent with hypotheses individuals meeting criteria for GAD showed significantly higher meta-worry frequency scores than individuals classified as somatic anxiety or no anxiety. Meta-worry belief distinguished the GAD group from the non-anxious group but not the somatic anxiety group. These effects remained when Type 1 worry (social and health worry) was controlled. The results provide further support for the metacognitive model. Relationship between meta-worry frequency, belief, and GAD status was explored using path analysis. The relationship between meta-worry belief and GAD classification was dependent on meta-worry frequency.

Key words

generalized anxiety disorder metacognition worry meta-worry assessment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrian Wells
    • 1
  1. 1.Academic Division of Clinical PsychologyUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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