Category: Adult Anxiety

Symposium

Psychometric Properties of an Adolescent Measure of Biased Interpretations: Mental and Physical Health Problems

Friday, November 17
10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom B, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Adolescents | Information Processing
Presentation Type: Symposium

Adolescence is a sensitive period for the emergence of various persistent mental and physical health conditions. For example, many adults with anxiety and depression first report onset in adolescence. Similarly, acute pain first becomes chronic in adolescence, resulting in many long-term adult chronic pain conditions including headaches, stomach aches, back pain, musculoskeletal pain. Interestingly, emotional symptoms such as anxiety and depression co-occur in chronic pain, and can influence outcomes such as functioning and disability. Yet the factors that contribute to this association are poorly understood. As biased interpretations, the tendency to explain ambiguous situations negatively rather than benignly, have been separately implicated in anxiety and mood problems, as well as chronic pain, these may contribute to their co-occurrence, while maintaining their differences. In this paper, we present a new measure of interpretational style that aims to capture distinct variance associated with mood and anxiety problems, distinct variance associated with chronic pain experiences, but also common variance amongst these different mental and physical health conditions in adolescence. This measure will assess the degree to which adolescents favour negative over benign interpretations of ambiguous situations involving social relationships, academic/recreational achievements, bodily threat or injury, and long-term health and illness.  We present data from a large community sample of adolescents on the internal consistency of this new measure and its’ inter-time reliability. Next, we will present data on the factor structure of interpretational style, comparing models with 1-factor versus 4-factors of domain-specific interpretation biases. Finally, we will present data to examine whether interpretational style captures distinct variance on each symptom-type (anxiety, mood, pain) as well as their co-variance.  

Jennifer Lau

Reader
Kings College London

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