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Do Metacognitions and Intolerance of Uncertainty Predict Worry in Everyday Life? An Ecological Momentary Assessment Study

Thielsch, Carolin; Andor, Tanja; Ehring, Thomas

Behavior therapy. Volume 46:Issue 4 (2015, July); pp 532-543 -- Elsevier

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  • Title:
    Do Metacognitions and Intolerance of Uncertainty Predict Worry in Everyday Life? An Ecological Momentary Assessment Study
  • Author: Thielsch, Carolin;
    Andor, Tanja;
    Ehring, Thomas
  • Found In: Behavior therapy. Volume 46:Issue 4 (2015, July); pp 532-543
  • Journal Title: Behavior therapy
  • Subjects: Behavior therapy--Periodicals; Dewey: 616.8914205
  • Rights: legaldeposit
  • Publication Details: Elsevier
  • Abstract: Abstract

    Cognitive models of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) suggest that excessive worry is due to positive and negative metacognitive beliefs and/or intolerance of uncertainty. Empirical support mainly derives from cross-sectional studies with limited conclusiveness, using self-report measures and thereby possibly causing recall biases. The aim of the present study therefore was to examine the power of these cognitive variables to predict levels of worry in everyday life using Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA). Metacognitions and intolerance of uncertainty were assessed using well-established self-report questionnaires in 41 nonclinical participants who subsequently completed ratings on worry intensity and burden on a portable device for 1 week at seven times a day once every 2 hours. Results showed significant associations of negative metacognitive beliefs and intolerance of uncertainty, but not positive metacognitive beliefs, with worry in everyday life. In multilevel regression analyses, a substantial proportion of variance of everyday worry could be accounted for by negative metacognitions over and above trait worry and daily hassles. Intolerance of uncertainty likewise emerged as a valid predictor when tested in isolation, but did not explain additional variance once negative metacognitions were controlled. The findings support current cognitive models of excessive worry and highlight the role of negative metacognitions. By using EMA to assess levels of worry in everyday life, they extend earlier findings focusing exclusively on retrospective questionnaire measures.


  • Identifier: ETOClsidyv97e91cd7; System Number: LDEAvdc_100025974417.0x000001; Journal ISSN: 0005-7894; 10.1016/j.beth.2015.05.001
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Physical Description: Electronic
  • Shelfmark(s): ELD Digital store

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