Developing scales measuring disorder-specific intolerance of uncertainty (DSIU)

a new perspective on transdiagnostic

Michel A. Thibodeau, R. Nicholas Carleton, Peter M. McEvoy, Michael J. Zvolensky, Charles P. Brandt, Paul A. Boelen, Alison E J Mahoney, Brett J. Deacon, Gordon J G Asmundson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Intolerance of uncertainty (IU) is a construct of growing prominence in literature on anxiety disorders and major depressive disorder. Existing measures of IU do not define the uncertainty that respondents perceive as distressing. To address this limitation, we developed eight scales measuring disorder-specific intolerance of uncertainty (DSIU) relating to various anxiety disorders and major depressive disorder. We used exploratory factor analysis and item characteristic curves in two large undergraduate samples (Ns = 627 and 628) to derive eight three-item DSIU scales (24 items total) that exhibited excellent psychometric properties. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the factor structures of the scales and the transdiagnostic nature of IU. Each scale predicted unique variance in its respective symptom measure beyond a traditional measure of IU. DSIU represents a theoretically proximal and causal intermediary between known vulnerability factors and disorder symptomatology. The DSIU scales can be used to advance theories of psychopathology and inform case conceptualization and treatment planning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-57
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Volume31
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Intolerance of uncertainty
  • Item response theory
  • Measurement
  • Psychometrics

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