A Brief Worry Reappraisal Paradigm (REAP) Increases Coping with Worries

  • Nehjla M. MashalEmail author
  • Sherry A. Beaudreau
  • Michael A. Hernandez
  • Rachel Cackler Duller
  • Holly Romaniak
  • Ki Eun Shin
  • Ken A. Paller
  • Richard E. Zinbarg
Original Article


The current study examined a novel computerized cognitive reappraisal paradigm (REAP) for worry management in college-aged adults with a range of PSWQ scores (n = 98). Participants listed three current worries and were randomized to either REAP or a worry condition. For the REAP condition, participants selected positive reappraisal statements of their worries over negative ones. Before and after completing the reappraisal or worry task, participants discussed each worry. Participants rated their worries on coping ability, distress, and probability the worry would materialize. Relative to worry, the REAP group rated an increase in ability to cope with their worries whereas the results failed to provide evidence for a similar increase among the worry group. If similar findings emerge in clinical populations, REAP may eventually serve as a useful tool in augmenting cognitive behavioral therapy protocols.


Cognitive reappraisal Computerized reappraisal Cognitive therapy Worry Cognitive behavioral therapy 



This research was supported by Northwestern University’s Graduate Research Grant (GRG). Nehjla M. Mashal was supported by the VA Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Health Research and Treatment, Office of Academic Affiliations; writing of this manuscript was supported in part by the Sierra Pacific MIRECC at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Nehjla M. Mashal, Sherry A. Beaudreau, Michael A. Hernandez, Rachel Cackler Duller, Holly Romaniak, Ki Eun Shin, Ken A. Paller, and Richard E. Zinbarg declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed involving human participants in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional Review Board (IRB) at Northwestern University, Evanston Campus and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Animal Rights

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nehjla M. Mashal
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  • Sherry A. Beaudreau
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Michael A. Hernandez
    • 1
    • 7
  • Rachel Cackler Duller
    • 1
    • 8
  • Holly Romaniak
    • 1
    • 9
  • Ki Eun Shin
    • 1
    • 10
  • Ken A. Paller
    • 1
  • Richard E. Zinbarg
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  2. 2.Sierra Pacific Mental Illness, Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC), Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care SystemPalo AltoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral SciencesStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  4. 4.School of PsychologyUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  5. 5.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  6. 6.Department of General Psychiatry Outpatient ServicesVeterans Affairs San Francisco Medical CenterSan FranciscoUSA
  7. 7.Department of Emergency MedicineUniversity of Chicago Medical CenterChicagoUSA
  8. 8.California Department of State Hospitals-NapaNapaUSA
  9. 9.Department of KinesiologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  10. 10.Department of PsychologyPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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