Differentiating Anxious and Depressive Self-Statements: Combined Factor Structure of the Anxious Self-Statements Questionnaire and the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire-Revised
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- Safren, S.A., Heimberg, R.G., Lerner, J. et al. Cognitive Therapy and Research (2000) 24: 327. doi:10.1023/A:1005515421103
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Cognitive models of negative emotion suggest that depression and anxiety are associated with different cognitive features. However, distinguishing anxious from depressive self-talk is difficult because of the overlap between anxiety and depression. The Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire-Revised was developed to assess self-statements related to depression and the Anxious Self-Statement Questionnaire to assess self-statements related to anxiety. However, confirmatory factor analyses of the pooled items from both measures suggested that this implicit two-factor model did not fit the data. Instead, an exploratory common factor analysis yielded four orthogonal factors: self-statements reflecting depression/hopelessness, self-statements reflecting one's inability to cope, self-statements reflecting anxiety/uncertainty about the future, and positive affect self-statements. In an exploratory hierarchical factor analysis, the first three factors loaded onto a single higher order factor, while positive affect self-statements did not. Attempts to predict depression and trait anxiety on the basis of these factor scores produced complex results, at least potentially due to the relative impurity of the criterion measures. These results provide evidence for the differentiation of anxious and depressive self-talk as well as for the common ground shared by these aspects of internal dialogue. They also support the future study of the factors from the ATQ-R and ASSQ in relation to more construct-pure measures of anxiety and depression.