Psychometric Properties of a Brief Version of the Penn State Worry Questionnaire in African Americans and European Americans

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Abstract

The reliable and valid assessment of chronic worry in African Americans is vital when attempting to draw cross-cultural comparisons between African Americans and other ethnic groups. As such, the current study examined the psychometric properties of a brief version of a gold standard assessment of chronic worry, specifically the Penn State Worry Questionnaire-Abbreviated (PSWQ-A; Hopko et al., 2003) in a college sample of African Americans (n = 100) and European Americans (n = 121). Results indicated that the PSWQ-A total score has good internal consistency and convergent validity with another measure of anxiety, but less than favorable discriminant validity with a measure of depression in African American and European American students. Also, the 1-factor solution for the 8-item PSWQ-A had excellent model fit in our full sample and was partially invariant between ethnic groups. Collectively, the present study provides evidence that the PSWQ-A is a psychometrically sound option for assessing chronic worry and suggests that this brief measure may enhance the time efficiency and clinical utility of research and clinical assessments in ethnically diverse samples.

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