Given the equivocal state of the literature as to the symptom-level specificity of the cognitive variable labeled negative problem orientation (NPO), we targeted NPO–symptom relations. A clinical sample (N = 132) of adults diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, mood disorder, or obsessive-compulsive disorder completed self-reports of NPO and symptom types (worry, depression, obsessive-compulsive, panic, and social anxiety). Symptom-level specificity was examined using a combination of zero-order and regression analyses that controlled for the other assessed symptoms. Results were that NPO shared small to moderate correlations with the symptoms. Regression results indicated that NPO only shared unique associations with worry, depression, and social anxiety. In the analyses, NPO clustered particularly strongly with worry. The present results provide support for conceptualizing NPO as a cognitive variable common to emotional disorders, but not as related equivalently to all disorders within this category.
Fergus, Thomas A.; Valentiner, David P.; Wu, Kevin D.; and McGrath, Patrick B., "Examining the symptom-level specificity of negative problem orientation in a clinical sample" (2014). Faculty Peer-Reviewed Publications. 1029.
Department of Psychology
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy