Factor Structure of the Attentional Control Scale in Younger and Older Adults: Relationships with Anxiety and Depression

  • Alyssa N. DeVitoEmail author
  • Matthew Calamia
  • Scott Roye
  • John P. K. Bernstein
  • Peter Castagna


The Attentional Control Scale (ACS) is a self-report questionnaire that is used to measure individual differences in attentional control. Despite its widespread use, there is limited and conflicting data regarding the factor structure of the ACS. Further, the psychometric properties of the ACS have yet to be evaluated in an older adult sample. The current study compared the factor structure of the ACS in younger (n = 411) and older adult samples (n = 366) using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. Confirmatory factor analysis supported a reduced 13-item, two-factor model comprised of “shifting” and “focusing” subscales. It was found that the ACS subscales were negatively related to anxiety and depression in both samples, with more robust relationships observed between anxiety and depression with focusing in both samples. Future research should explore whether AC is a useful treatment target in older adults with anxiety and/or depression.


Attentional control Factor analysis Older adults Anxiety Depression 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Alyssa De Vito, Matthew Calamia, Scott Roye, John Bernstein, and Peter Castagna declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Experiment Participants

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Louisiana State University. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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