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Behav Res Ther. 2004 Mar;42(3):293-313.

Avoidance and depression: the construction of the cognitive-behavioral avoidance scale.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4. ndottenb@ucalgary.ca


Previous research has demonstrated a relationship between avoidance and depression, although the nature of this relationship has been confused by inconsistent definitions of avoidance. Following a review of the construct of avoidance and an examination of past research, a new multidimensional measure of avoidance was developed and validated using an undergraduate student sample (245 females and 146 males). Four reliable factors reflecting combinations of cognitive/behavioral and social/nonsocial dimensions of avoidance were obtained from the factor analysis of the new scale, entitled the "Cognitive-Behavioral Avoidance Scale" (CBAS). The scale showed the predicted relationships with convergent and divergent measures used for construct validation. As predicted, subscales of the CBAS, as well as the overall scale score, were significantly related to the depression and anxiety criterion measures. The findings from this study suggest that avoidance may be an important construct in the psychosocial conceptualization of depression. In addition, this integrated measure of avoidance has potential utility for depression researchers. Suggestions for further scale development and research are provided.

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