Heimberg, Richard G.; Giovannetti, Tania; Drabick, Deborah A.; Conner, Bradley T.; Ellman, Lauren M.; McCloskey, Michael S. (Temple University. Libraries, 2010)
      The overall goal of the present study was to demonstrate that intolerance of uncertainty (IU) is a key feature in both generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). More specifically, I wanted to test certain portions of the conceptual models proposed for the study suggesting that when participants with GAD or OCD are faced with situations that tap into their idiographic concerns, they experience an increase in IU and subsequently either worry or obsessing/ritualizing. College students who met predetermined cutoff scores on study measures were assigned to analogue GAD, OCD, or control groups. The stimuli consisted of scripts that were generated to induce a sense of uncertainty in participants. It was anticipated that, when faced with material related to their idiographic concerns, the experience of uncertainty would lead them to become intolerant of the uncertain thoughts and feelings, thereby leading to increased worry, obsessing and/or ritualizing, and/or negative affect. Each script was 349 words in length and described one of 20 GAD and OCD themes commonly occurring in the literature. Participants' levels of worry, obsessing and/or ritualizing, negative affect, and IU were assessed before and after the scripts were administered. The study design included three levels of group (GAD, OCD, Control) and two levels of script (matched vs. mismatched). Half the participants in analogue GAD and OCD groups were administered scripts associated with their specific concerns (i.e., matched), and the other half were administered scripts that were mismatched. Half of the Control group was administered scripts that were assigned to the GAD matched group and the other half received scripts assigned to the OCD matched group. The study examined several different hypotheses. IU and negative affect increased from pretest to posttest assessment. However, worry and obsessing and/or ritualizing did not. Posttest IU significantly predicted worry and obsessing and/or ritualizing. However, there were no significant differences between the three groups, nor were there any significant differences as a function of matching vs. mismatching of idiographic concerns. The present study did not find any support for a hypothesized mediational role of IU in the relationship between type of script and worry, obsessing and/or ritualizing, or negative affect. Moreover, there were no significant differences between the GAD, OCD, and Control groups in worry, obsessing and/or ritualizing, negative affect, or IU. These findings did not provide support for the proposed mixed moderation-mediation model. IU was associated with worry, OC, and negative affect, but it may not be the motivational mechanism behind changes in those constructs.