Category: Adult Anxiety - GAD
Background: The Affective Style Questionnaire (ASQ) is a self-report measure that assesses emotion regulation strategies. The ASQ was originally validated in a non-clinical population, and it exhibited a three-factor solution (i.e., concealing, tolerating, and adjusting) (Hofmann & Kashdan, 2010). To date, no studies have psychometrically validated the ASQ in a clinical sample. The current study was designed to examine the psychometric properties and factor structure of the ASQ in a sample of patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Methods: Participants consisted of adult patients (n=141) with a principal or co-principal diagnosis of GAD. Diagnoses were obtained using structured clinical interviews assessing DSM-5 disorders. Eligible participants completed a battery of self-report questionnaires including the ASQ.
Results: Results of the exploratory factor analysis supported a two-factor solution, containing concealing and adjusting factors. Items originally associated with the tolerating factor evidenced high cross-loadings and were omitted. Furthermore, results of the confirmatory factor analysis suggested acceptable model fit for the two-factor solution (CFI=.92, TLI=.90, RMSEA = 0.07).
Conclusions: Findings support a two-factor solution of the ASQ among individuals diagnosed with GAD. Perhaps, patients distinguish less between the original three emotion regulation constructs, and instead recognize only two opposing regulatory strategies (i.e., concealing and adjusting). Results are consistent with prior research suggesting that GAD patients tend to have an impoverished understanding of their emotional responses relative to healthy controls (Mennin et al., 2005). Overall, these findings support the utility of a modified version of the ASQ in clinical populations.
Hofmann, S. G., Kashdan, T. B. (2010). The affective style questionnaire: Development and psychometric properties. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 32, 255–263.
Mennin, D. S., Heimberg, R. G., Turk, C. L., & Fresco, D. M. (2005). Preliminary evidence for an emotion dysregulation model of generalized anxiety disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 43, 1281-1310.
Kristina Conroy– Research Technician, Boston University
Leigh Andrews– Research Coordinator, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
Joshua Curtiss– Graduate Student, University of Delaware, Boston, Massachusetts
Naomi Simon– Professor of Psychiatry; Director, Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders; Chief Medical Officer, Home Base Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
Stefan Hofmann– Professor of Psychology, Boston University
Professor of Psychiatry; Director, Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders; Chief Medical Officer, Home Base Program
Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School