Individual differences in anxiety and worry, not anxiety disorders, predict weakened executive control: preliminary evidence
Booth, Robert and Tekeş, Burcu (2019) Individual differences in anxiety and worry, not anxiety disorders, predict weakened executive control: preliminary evidence. (Accepted/In Press)
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People high in anxiety tend to be low in executive control. However, it is unclear whether this control impairment is more associated with high anxiety, or with anxiety disorder. We collected an internet sample of 29 individuals with diagnosed anxiety disorders and 97 without anxiety disorders, and measured their state and trait anxiety, worry, attentional control and cognitive failures using self-report measures. State anxiety, trait anxiety and worry all significantly predicted attentional control and cognitive failures. Having an anxiety disorder was not related to either attentional control or cognitive failures once anxiety or worry was controlled. Contemporary theories suggest poor executive control is a risk factor for anxiety disorders; these preliminary results suggest poor executive control may be a risk factor for high anxiety, but is not directly related to having a diagnosable anxiety disorder.
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