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Using Metacognitions to Identify Emotionally Vulnerable College Students

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Objective : To examine the association between negative metacognitions and indices of mental health in order to help identify individuals at risk for future psychopathology.

Method : A randomly selected sample of 378 undergraduates responded to the General Health Questionnaire and the Metacognitions Questionnaire.

Results : A curvilinear relationship emerged between negative metacognitive beliefs and social dysfunction. Beliefs about uncontrollability and danger accounted for about 29 of the variance and beliefs about cognitive competence accounted for an additional 1. Worry correlated with mental health scores in both sexes. Beliefs about uncontrollability and danger, beliefs about cognitive competence and general negative beliefs discriminated nonclinical subjects high in both anxiety and depression.

Conclusions : Modification of metacognitive beliefs can help prevent psychopathology.

Keywords: cognitive competence; cognitive self-consciousness; mental health; metacognitive beliefs

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili., Ardabil, Iran.

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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