Predicting Generalized Anxiety Disorder Based on Emotion Regulation Deficits, Thought-Action Fusion, and Behavioral Inhibition


1 Department of Psychology, Young Researchers Club, Islamic Azad University, Parsabad Moghan Branch, Parsabad Moghan, Iran

2 . M.Sc. in Sociology, Social Development and Health Promotion Research Center, Gonabad University of Medical Sciences, Gonabad, Iran


Background & Aims: Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) can be affected by different emotional,
cognitive, and natural factors. The purpose of this study was to predict GAD based on emotion regulation
deficits, thought-action fusion, and behavioral inhibition.
Methods: This was a correlational study. The study sample was comprised of 135 patients with GAD
selected from among patients who were referred to psychiatric clinics and centers in Tabriz, Iran, using
convenient sampling method. The data collection tool consisted of cognitive emotion regulation
questionnaire (CERQ), thought fusion instrument (TFI), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BDI), retrospective and
adults measures of behavioral inhibition (RMBI, AMBI), and the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-
20). Data were analyzed using Pearson correlation coefficient and stepwise multiple regression analysis
Results: Difficulty in describing and identifying emotions, maladaptive emotion regulation strategies,
thought-action fusion, and childhood behavioral inhibition had significant relationships with GAD
(P < 0.010). Moreover, stepwise regression analysis showed that difficulty in identifying emotions,
maladaptive emotion regulation, thought-action fusion, and childhood behavioral inhibition were the best
predictors for GAD, respectively.
Conclusion: Considering the role of emotion regulation deficits, thought-action fusion, and childhood
behavioral inhibition in GAD, these variables must be taken into account in the prevention and treatment
programs for GAD.


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