Further psychometric analysis of the tripartite model of anxiety and depression




Norizuki, Tamami

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Clinical and self-report data suggest that anxiety and depressive disorders have several overlapping symptoms. Clark and Watson (1991) proposed the tripartite model of emotions to explain (a) the overlapping symptoms of the anxiety and depressive disorders and (b) the distinct symptoms of each disorder. They also developed the Mood and Anxiety Symptom Questionnaire-90 (MASQ-90) scale for use in assessing the three essential or specific components of the tripartite model: low positive affect, high hyper-arousal, and general distress. The current study examined the discriminative power of the MASQ-90 in a convenient sample of college students. Participants were 400 undergraduate students, aged 18 years and older, who completed the questionnaire packets at a southwestern university. The majority of the sample included Hispanics and Whites. Of the total sample, 200 participants (107 women, Mage = 20.97, SD = 4.23 years) were retained for testing the specific study hypotheses. First, the study constructed four different groups of individuals, based on responses to well-established, self-report measures of social anxiety and depression. Then, the study determined whether the four groups' responses to the MASQ-90 subscales could be differentiated in any meaningful or statistically significant ways. Analyses included a one-way MANOVA, a series of t-tests, and an ANCOVA. Taken together, the current study demonstrated evidence for the discriminative ability of scores on the three components of the tripartite model, as assessed with the MASQ-90 in the sample of undergraduate students. The findings offer further research directions with the MASQ-90 subscales for future investigators.


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anxiety, depression, tripartite model of emotions