BELIEFS ABOUT WORRY IN COMMUNITY-DWELLING OLDER ADULTS

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Abstract

This study examines the association between several kinds of beliefs about worry and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) severity in a sample of older individuals recruited from a community setting (N=142, mean age=71.0 years, SD=6.0, range=55-88). Beliefs about worry were assessed with a 17-item scale designed for older adults, including three dimensions: Positive Beliefs, Negative Beliefs, and Responsibility. All three dimensions distinguished between people endorsing GAD symptoms and those without GAD symptoms, and only Negative Beliefs had a significant independent weight when regressed on GAD severity, even after controlling for level of trait worry. Results of this study suggest that negative beliefs appear to be strongly related to pathological worry in older adults. These results are consistent with empirical findings in younger adults and potentially support the use of particular interventions in clinical work with older adults with GAD. Depression and Anxiety 23:466-473, 2006. Published 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.†

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