Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Psychometric Properties and Latent Structure of the Portuguese Version of the Penn State Worry Questionnaire

Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Psychometric Properties and Latent Structure of the Portuguese Version of the Penn State Worry Questionnaire

Article excerpt

Two studies evaluated the psychometric properties and the latent structure of the Portuguese version of the Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ) in a large Brazilian college student sample. Results indicated that PSWQ had an adequate internal consistency. Exploratory factor analyses yielded a two-factor solution. One factor was related to the worry presence and incorporated all the non-reversed items. The other factor was associated to worry absence and incorporated all the reversed items. Confirmatory factor analysis leaded to a three-factor solution. One factor included all the PSWQ items whereas the two other factors were linked to the reversed and non-reversed worded items. Correlations coefficients of these two reversed and nonreversed factors with the total scores of the PSWQ and the trait form of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory suggest that PSWQ has a single meaningful construct.

Keywords: Penn State Worry Questionnaire, psychometric properties, factor structure, exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis.

Dos estudios evaluaron las propiedades psicométricas y la estructura latente de la versión portuguesa del Penn Worry State Questionnaire (PSWQ) en una muestra de gran tamaño de estudiantes universitarios de Brasil. Los resultados indicaron que el PSWQ tenía una adecuada consistencia interna. Un análisis factorial exploratorio ofreció una solución de dos factores. Un factor estaba relacionado con la presencia de preocupación e incluía todos los ítems no invertidos. El otro factor estaba asociado a la ausencia de preocupación e incluía todos los ítems invertidos. Un análisis factorial confirmatorio condujo a una solución de tres factores. Un factor incluía todos los elementos del PSWQ mientras que los otros dos factores estaban relacionados con los ítems redactados de forma directa e inversa. Los coeficientes de correlación de estos dos factores (de los ítems invertidos y no invertidos) con las puntuaciones totales del PSWQ y la versión rasgo del Inventario de Ansiedad Estado-Rasgo (STAI) sugieren que un único constructo subyace a la estructura del PSWQ.

Palabras clave: Penn State Worry Questionnaire, propiedades psicométricas, estructura factorial, análisis factorial exploratorio, análisis factorial confirmatorio.

Worry can be defined as a cognitive component of anxiety reaction that prepares the person for future risk. It involves the processing and organization information to deal with future threatening situation. Although it is generally experience as an unpleasant experience, worry has an adaptive function in the sense that it can improve task performance as well as cognitive planning to cope with environmental threats (Borkovec, 1994; Mathews, 1990). However, excessive and uncontrollable worry thoughts and images about possible negative events in the future characterizes a pathological functioning in all anxiety disorders (Barlow, 2002; Borkovec, Robinson, Pruzinsky & Depree, 1983) and constitutes the main feature of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD, American Psychiatry Association, 1994).

The worry construct has received considerable attention since the diagnosis of GAD shifted from a residual category in the DSM-III (American Psychiatry Association, 1980) to an independent anxiety disorder type in the 4th edition of the DSM (American Psychiatry Association, 1994). According to the DSM-IV, worry is generally associated with several symptoms such as muscle tension, feeling tired and restless, concentration difficulties and irritability. These worries are generally associated to impairments in academic, social, or personal functioning and related to multiple domains or activities. In order to be considered a pathological feature of GAD, worry must occur more days than not for a period of at least 6 months.

The Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ) is one of the most popular self-reported measures of worry. This instrument evaluates worry intensity independently of its content. …

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