Worrying Leads to Reduced Concreteness of Problem Elaborations: Evidence for the Avoidance Theory of Worry

Stoeber, Joachim and Tepperwien, Sven and Staak, Mirjam (2000) Worrying Leads to Reduced Concreteness of Problem Elaborations: Evidence for the Avoidance Theory of Worry. Anxiety, Stress & Coping: An international journal, 13 (3). pp. 217-227. ISSN 1061-5806. (Full text available)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10615800008549263

Abstract

Both lay concept and scientific theory have embraced the view that nonpathological worry may be helpful for defining and analyzing problems. To evaluate the quality of problem elaborations, concreteness is a key variable. Two studies with nonclinical student samples are presented in which participants elaborated topics associated with different degrees of worry. In Study 1, participants' elaborations were assessed using problem elaboration charts; in Study 2, they were assessed using catastrophizing interviews. When participants' problem elaborations were rated for concreteness, both studies showed an inverse relationship between degree of worry and concreteness: The more participants worried about a given topic the less concrete was the content of their elaboration. The results challenge the view that worry may promote better problem analyses. Instead they conform to the view that worry is a cognitive avoidance response.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: anxiety; problem solving; avoidance; imagery
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Joachim Stoeber
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2009 08:42
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2014 10:15
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/19822 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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