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J Abnorm Psychol. 1998 May;107(2):179-92.

Structural relationships among dimensions of the DSM-IV anxiety and mood disorders and dimensions of negative affect, positive affect, and autonomic arousal.

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  • 1Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, Boston University, Massachusetts 02215-2015, USA.


Using outpatients with anxiety and mood disorders (N = 350), the authors tested several models of the structural relationships of dimensions of key features of selected emotional disorders and dimensions of the tripartite model of anxiety and depression. Results supported the discriminant validity of the 5 symptom domains examined (mood disorders: generalized anxiety disorder, GAD; panic disorder; obsessive-compulsive disorder; social phobia). Of various structural models evaluated, the best fitting involved a structure consistent with the tripartite model (e.g., the higher order factors, negative affect and positive affect, influenced emotional disorder factors in the expected manner). The latent factor, GAD, influenced the latent factor, autonomic arousal, in a direction consistent with recent laboratory findings (autonomic suppression). Findings are discussed in the context of the growing literature on higher order trait dimensions (e.g., negative affect) that may be of considerable importance to the understanding of the pathogenesis, course, and co-occurrence of emotional disorders.

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