Content analysis of worrisome streams of consciousness in anxious and dysphoric participants

Silvia Molina, Thomas D. Borkovec, Catherine Peasley, Denise Person

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Examination of the streams-of-consciousness content of generalized anxiety disorder, dysphoric, and control participants during neutral and worry periods revealed that worrying in general was associated with (a) being less present focused; (b) experiencing elevated levels of negatively valenced, high arousal affect; (c) referencing the immediate environment to a lesser degree; (d) more frequent occurrence of words reflecting cognitive distortions; and (e) shifting from one topic to another topic to a lesser extent. Significant group differences in the use of specific theoretically relevant words and statements were found. Compared to dysphoric and control participants, anxious participants used a higher relative frequency of somatic anxiety words, statements implying catastrophic interpretations of events, and statements implying a rigid, rule-bound manner of interpreting events. Additionally, the results revealed that dysphoric participants made use of derivatives of the word worry at an exceptionally high frequency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-123
Number of pages15
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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