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Worry content reported by older adults with and without generalized anxiety disorder

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This study investigated worry content in older adults with and without generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). This is an important topic of research, where findings may promote improved recognition and treatment of this disorder in late-life, as well as provide information about the nature of worry across the lifespan. Worry content was compared for 44 older adults diagnosed with GAD and 44 normal control (NC) volunteers matched for age, gender, and ethnicity. Results indicated that older adults with GAD reported a wider variety of worry topics than did NC participants. However, there were no differences in worry content patterns between older adults with and without GAD. These results suggest that pathological worry in later life is not uniquely defined by content, and implications of these findings for assessment and treatment of GAD in older adults are discussed. Worry content reported by older adults also was compared with previously published younger adult worry content data. Age differences in worry content were found in both the clinical and non-clinical groups in patterns that were generally consistent with common age-related developmental changes. Directions for future research of worry across the lifespan are proposed.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Houston Medical School, University of Texas, USA 2: University of New York at Buffalo, USA

Publication date: 2001-08-01

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