Fear and perceived uncontrollability of emotion

Evaluating the unique contribution of emotion appraisal variables to prediction of worry and generalised anxiety disorder

Lexine A. Stapinski*, Maree J. Abbott, Ronald M. Rapee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


Novel theoretical frameworks place the symptom profile of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) within the context of dysfunctional emotional processes. It is suggested that fear and intolerance of emotions exacerbate subjective distress and motivate the use of maladaptive coping strategies, such as worry. To date, studies evaluating these models have suffered two key limitations. Firstly, few studies have involved treatment-seeking samples, and secondly, none have evaluated the unique variance attributable to emotion appraisal variables above and beyond previously established predictors of worry and GAD. The present study begins to address these limitations by assessing the contribution of fear and perceived uncontrollability of emotions in predicting worry and clinical GAD status after controlling for variance attributable to depressive symptoms, meta-cognitive beliefs, intolerance of uncertainty, and perceptions of external threat. Supporting current models, results showed that perceived control over emotional reactions was a unique predictor of GAD diagnostic status and both clinical and non-clinical worry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1097-1104
Number of pages8
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


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