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J Anxiety Disord. 2007;21(1):105-17. Epub 2006 May 2.

Fearing the unknown: a short version of the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale.

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Anxiety and Illness Behaviours Laboratory, University of Regina, Regina, Sask., Canada S4S 0A2. <>


Intolerance of uncertainty is the tendency of an individual to consider the possibility of a negative event occurring unacceptable, irrespective of the probability of occurrence. It is a key component of worry, state anxiety, and related anxiety pathologies. The 27-item Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale (IUS) was developed to measure intolerance of uncertainty. Previous psychometric analyses of the IUS have suggested both four- and five-factor models. High inter-item correlations, factor instability, and previous theoretical research support the development of a reduced measure. The present study used two undergraduate samples and evaluated a psychometrically stable 12-item two-factor version of the IUS. The reduced measure (IUS-12) retained exemplary internal consistency, while correlating extremely well with the original IUS and related measures of anxiety and worry. The IUS-12 also demonstrated a stable two-factor structure, representing both anxious and avoidance components of intolerance of uncertainty. Directions for future research and potential applications for assessment are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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