The extent and nature of imagery during worry and positive thinking in generalized anxiety disorder.

Colette R. Hirsch, Sarra Hayes, Andrew Mathews, Gemma Perman, Tom Borkovec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Clients in treatment for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) were compared to a control group to assess the extent and nature of imagery during worry or while thinking about a personally relevant positive future event. Two methods were used to assess mentation and were completed in counter balanced order within the worry and positive conditions. One method assessed the occurrence of imagery by requiring participants to categorize their mentation as verbal thoughts or images every 10 s. The other method involved participants estimating the duration of any imagery that occurred in the previous 10 s. Imagery during worry occurred less often than while thinking about a positive event for both groups, but GAD clients had a more pronounced deficit of imagery during worry than the control group. Images that occurred were briefer during worry than while thinking about a positive future event and were briefer in the GAD than the control group for both worry and positive conditions. The results thus confirmed that imagery is less common during worry in clients with GAD but also demonstrated that the imagery that does occur in GAD is briefer. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-243
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Volume121
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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