Across domains of functioning, research has shown substantial within-person variability in a number of different types of variables from one measurement occasion to another. Using data obtained from a large sample (n = 784, 18-97 years) at three separate occasions, we examined properties and correlates of short-term variability in a construct that by definition is prone to fluctuations, namely state anxiety. Our results revealed that participants exhibited sizeable across-occasion variation in state anxiety. The magnitude of variability was unrelated to age, but was associated with a number of individual difference characteristics such as self-reported health, aspects of personality, well-being, and cognition. However, after taking into account mean-level differences in state anxiety, evidence for unique associations of variability was minimal.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Life-span and Life-course Studies