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Behav Modif. 2012 Jul;36(4):600-16. doi: 10.1177/0145445512443982. Epub 2012 May 3.

Exploratory factor analysis of the Anxiety Control Questionnaire among older adults.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506-6040, USA.


Among young adults and clinical populations, perceived inability to control internal and external events is associated with anxiety. At present, it is unclear what role perceived anxiety control plays in anxiety among older adults. The Anxiety Control Questionnaire (ACQ) was developed to assess one's perceived ability to cope with anxiety-related symptoms, reactions, and external threats but has limited psychometric support for use with older adults. Psychometric evaluations of other measures often reveal that factor structures differ among older adults compared with other age groups. The present study examined the factor structure of the ACQ in a sample of community-dwelling older adults in an attempt to understand the construct of perceived anxiety control in this population. A total of 135 adults aged 60 to 94 completed the ACQ and a demographics questionnaire. An exploratory factor analysis was accomplished using maximum likelihood extraction with equamax rotation. Parallel analysis indicated that a four-factor structure be retained. The four-factor solution explained 40.80% of variance and provided a good fit to the data. The four factors were Internal Control, External Lack of Control, Internal Lack of Control, and Effective Coping. Each factor contained an adequate number of items and had good internal consistency. The four-factor solution suggests that a previous recommendation to shorten the ACQ, based on factor analysis with young adults, may be imprudent for older adults. The authors also discuss implications for the understanding of perceived anxiety control among older adults and assessment of anxiety in older adults.

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