The hypothesis of a distinctive content pattern of worry in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) was investigated with the use of content categorization of GAD versus nonanxious control worries from both clinical and analogue samples. The GAD groups reported significantly more worry topics than the control groups. Some similarity in content patterns emerged across groups, with the most frequent content category for all groups involving family/interpersonal issues. However, a significant difference in the pattern of relative frequencies across groups was found: GAD was characterized by equally high relative frequencies for miscellaneous and work/school worries, whereas control groups had higher relative frequencies for work/school concerns and lower relative frequencies for miscellaneous worries. The miscellaneous worries of GAD individuals were particularly characterized by worry about minor/routine issues. These findings support DSM-IV descriptions of GAD as involving pervasive worry that includes worry about minor things.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health