Contrast avoidance predicts and mediates the effect of trait worry on problem-solving impairment

Sandra J. Llera, Michelle G. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study examined the relationship between the Contrast Avoidance Model (CAM; Newman & Llera, 2011) and impairment in the problem-solving process using an in-vivo laboratory-based problem-solving task. We also explored whether general emotional CA tendencies explained the relationship between trait worry and problem-solving outcomes. In this study, 185 participants (42 of whom met diagnostic criteria for generalized anxiety disorder) engaged in a problem-solving task, and reported outcomes related to ability to generate solutions, confidence in solutions, intention to implement solutions, and state anxiety levels. According to results, higher general emotional CA tendencies predicted significantly more difficulties on most problem-solving outcomes. Further, CA tendencies mediated between trait worry and some, but not all, problem solving outcomes. Overall, CA appears to be linked to problem-solving deficits, and may help to explain some of the association between trait worry and negative problem-solving outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102674
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
StatePublished - Mar 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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