ESBJORN METAWORRY ACCEPTED COPY.doc

Discussion study 1 results from the regression

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Discussion Study 1 Results from the regression analyses offer further support for the extension of the MCM of GAD to children. Metacognitive processes accounted for an extra 14% of the variance in worry beyond the effects of gender, age, and anxiety, and an additional 11% of the variance in anxiety in youth beyond the effects of gender, age, and worry. This supports the primary hypothesis that the MCM has predictive value in levels of worry and anxiety symptoms in children and adolescents. The results are also consistent with previous findings. For example, in an adult sample, metacognitive processes predicted anxiety independently of gender, and worry (Spada et al., 2011) and positive beliefs about worry predicted the variance in worry scores in adolescents (Laugesen, Dugas, & Bukowski, 2003). In our study, positive meta-beliefs about worry did not predict anxiety symptoms, which is in contrast to the findings of two other studies of youth (Ellis & Hudson, 2011; Smith & Hudson, 2013). These studies reported positive associations between positive meta-beliefs and anxiety symptoms and emotional symptoms; this lack of consistency may have been caused by 10 10 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230
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METACOGNITIONS IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS differences in methodological approach. In our study, we controlled for level of worry in our analyses of anxiety symptoms. As worry and anxiety are correlated, this may explain the lack of predictive power of the positive beliefs in relation to anxiety in our study. The inability to predict the presence of anxiety based on positive beliefs is consistent with previous findings in both adults and youth (Bacow et al., 2009; Cartwright-Hatton & Wells, 1997). Finally, in our study, negative beliefs about worry explained the most variance in worry compared to any other predictor in the model and more of the variance in anxiety scores than the other metacognitive processes. This is also in-line with previous findings from adult (Spada, Mohiyeddini, & Wells, 2008) and child research (Ellis & Hudson, 2011; Smith & Hudson, 2013). In the second regression model, gender made the largest contribution to the variance in anxiety scores, with girls reporting more anxiety than boys. This finding may be explained by girls reporting significantly higher metacognitions and anxiety than boys. Indeed, a study using a sample related to the current one found that level of anxiety mediated the relationship between female gender and higher scores on the metacognitions questionnaire (blinded reference). The recent findings are consistent with a previous study that found that girls report higher negative repetitive thinking and anxiety (Muris, Roelofs, Meesters & Boomsma, 2004), suggesting that it is plausible that girls hold more maladaptive metacognitions than boys. The Need for Control scale offered the second largest contribution to the variance in anxiety among the metacognitive processes, although it did not significantly contribute to the variance in worry scores. According to the metacognitive theory of emotional disorder, the Need For Control scale is more characteristic of obsessive- compulsive disorder than it is of GAD (Wells, 2000). The SCARED-R incorporates obsessive-
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