ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 1, Issue 1, 119-132, 2010
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Elucidating the Relationship between Worry and Physical Health

Evelyn Behar (1), R. Kathryn McHugh (2), & Michael W. Otto (2)
(1) Dept. of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago
(2) Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, Boston University

Volume 1, Issue 1, 2010, Pages 119-132

Research indicates a relationship between trait worry and physical health, such that individuals with high levels of trait worry display physical health problems (e.g., upper respiratory infections, cardiological problems, immune system impairment). However, existing studies do not address whether three constructs that are theoretically and empirically related to worry - trait anxiety, anxiety sensitivity, and depression - might better account for the observed relationship between worry and physical health status. Participants completed measures of trait worry, trait anxiety, anxiety sensitivity, depression symptom severity, and health status. Results indicated that worry serves as a proxy risk factor for health status through the influence of trait anxiety and depressive symptoms, with both of these variables being related to mental health status, and only trait anxiety being related to physical health status. Anxiety sensitivity did not explain the relationship between trait worry and either type of health status. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.

Table of Contents
   Preliminary Analyses
   Proxy Risk Factor Analysis

Correspondence to
Evelyn Behar, Dept. of Psychology (M/C 285), 1007 W. Harrison Street, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607-7137.

worry; generalized anxiety disorder; health; trait anxiety; anxiety sensitivity

Received 30 May 2010; Revised 22 Sep 2010; Accepted 22 Sep 2010; In Press 31 Oct 2010

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