Category: Child / Adolescent - Anxiety

PS11- #B63 - Measurement of Intolerance of Uncertainty in Youth: Psychometric Evaluation of the Intolerance of Uncertainty Index-A for Children

Saturday, Nov 18
12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom CDGH, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Child Anxiety | Cognitive Vulnerability | Measurement

Intolerance of uncertainty (IU) has been implicated as a cognitive vulnerability for pathological anxiety and worry (Dugas, Gagnon, Ladouceur, & Freeston, 1998; Holaway, Heimberg, & Coles, 2006; Norton, Sexton, Walker, & Ron Norton, 2005).  As anxiety disorders often onset in youth, measurement of IU in youth is particularly important. The only measure of IU in youth with validational information is the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale for Children (IUSC; Comer et al., 2009), which assesses specific cognitive, behavioral, and emotional reactions to uncertainty as opposed to a general inability to endure uncertainty. Gosselin et al. (2008) noted that assessing reactions to IU using the IUS may result in a bias towards disorders characterized by stress, problems with sleep, doubt and organization (e.g. GAD; OCD).  Thus, there is need for a measure that assesses general inability to tolerate uncertainty in youth.


The current study adapted a measure of general inability to tolerate uncertainty in adults (Intolerance of Uncertainty Index; IUI-A; Gosselin et al., 2008) for use with youth (IUI-A-C), and developed a novel IU Clinician Rating (IUCR).  Psychometric properties of these measures will be examined and the utility of the IUI-A-C as a transdiagnostic measure of IU across several anxiety disorders in youth will be assessed.


Participants were youth ages 7-17 (N = 60) presenting for treatment at the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders Clinic at Temple University. All participants completed the IUI-A-C, IUSC and the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC; March, Parker, Sullivan, Stallings & Conners, 1997), in addition to the Anxiety and Related Disorders Interview Schedule (ADIS; Silverman & Albano, 1996) for DSM-5 and IUCR. Youth completed the IUI-A-C on two occasions, two weeks apart.


Analyses will examine the psychometric properties of the IUI-A-C, including internal consistency, convergent validity with overall self-reported anxiety on the MASC, divergent validity with ADHD as indexed by the ADIS composite diagnoses, retest reliability, and individual item performance. We will also examine and report the correlations between the IUCR, IUI-A-C, and IUSC to examine whether this clinician rated measure adds to IU assessment. We will examine whether there are differences in age, sex and clinician’s severity ratings (CSRs) among the principal diagnoses. Finally, we will perform linear regression analyses to examine the amount of variance that principal diagnosis severity accounts for on IUI-A-C scores and on IUSC scores while controlling for comorbid diagnoses. Implications of findings will be discussed.

Lara S. Rifkin

Graduate Student
Temple University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Lesley A. Norris

Temple University

Philip C. Kendall

Distinguished University Professor and Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology
Temple University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania