A psychometric evaluation of the Thought Control Ability Questionnaire (TCAQ) and the prediction of cognitive control

Alishia D. Williams, Michelle L. Moulds, Jessica R. Grisham, Philippe Gay, Tamara Lang, Eva Kandris, Aliza Werner-Seidler, Carol Yap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Study 1 evaluated the psychometric properties of the English version of the Thought Control Ability Questionnaire (TCAQ; Luciano et al. 2005), an index of perceived control over intrusive cognitions. Confirmatory factor analysis in a sample of 720 University students revealed a clear uni-dimensional structure (after removal of items 5, 7, 8, 14, and 25) with high internal consistency (α = .87, 95% CI = [.86, .88]) and test-retest reliability after a six month interval (r = .68). Correlational analyses supported an inverse relationship with measures of depression, anxiety, maladaptive cognitive control strategies, and obsessive-compulsive symptomatology. Study 2 tested the ability of the TCAQ to predict successful cognitive control during an experimental suppression protocol. Results demonstrated that weak thought control ability was predictive of the frequency and associated levels of distress of a target thought while under instruction to suppress. Additionally, weak perceived thought control ability was predictive of increased efforts to suppress the target material. Collectively, results suggest that thought control ability is a measurable individual difference variable and that the TCAQ is a reliable index of perceived cognitive control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-405
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Mental control
  • Thought control ability
  • Thought suppression

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