The metacognitive model of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) suggests that positive and negative beliefs about worry contribute to pathological worry. This study explores the relationship between metacognition and worry in youth aged 12-17 years. The sample consisted of 81 anxiety-disordered youth, with 70 mothers included, and 42 non-clinical controls, with 40 mothers included. Metacognitive beliefs were associated with emotional symptoms. Both GAD and non-GAD youth, and anxious and anxious/depressed youth, reported higher metacognitive beliefs compared to non-clinical controls, but there were no differences in metacognition between emotional disorders. There was no significant association between age and metacognition, and there were no gender differences in metacognition. These results provide partial support for using the metacognitive model of GAD to understand worry in young people.
- adolescent psychopathology
- generalized anxiety disorder