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J Anxiety Disord. 2009 Jan;23(1):69-76. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2008.03.018. Epub 2008 Apr 11.

A structural equation model analysis of perceived control and psychological distress on worry among African American and European American young adults.

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Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, United States.


Perceived control has been identified as an important factor in the development and maintenance of mood disorders, and worry has been shown to have a unique relationship with psychological distress associated with mood disorders. The relationships between these variables have received little attention in the literature, and even less in terms of the role racial status may serve. The current study investigated the structural relationship between psychological distress and perceived control in predicting self-reported worry as well as potential differences in paths to worry in African American and European American young adults using a structural equation model. One hundred twenty-one European American and 100 African American undergraduate students completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), the Anxiety Control Questionnaire (ACQ), and the Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ). Results suggest that psychological distress and perceived control predict worry in both the African American and European American samples, however there were significant differences in terms of which construct contributed most. For African Americans, psychological distress contributed significantly more to worry than perceived control, whereas low perceived control contributed more to worry for European Americans. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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