Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Researchers have proposed a vulnerabilities model that attempts to explain the similarities between the internalizing disorders via a hierarchical pathway of trait affectivity and cognitive factors among adults. The current study aimed to replicate and extend this model to symptoms of four internalizing disorders among youth: obsessions and compulsions, generalized anxiety/worry, social anxiety, and depression. Regression-based path analyses utilized data from a community sample of 105 youth aged 12-17 (67.6% female, 80% white, non-Hispanic). Results largely replicated prior models in the adult literature and overall supported a hierarchical paradigm. Trait negative affect and avoidant behavior predicted mid-tier cognitive vulnerabilities (anxiety sensitivity, intolerance of uncertainty, and thought suppression). Results were more mixed when predicting specific sets of internalizing symptoms with intolerance of uncertainty having the greatest impact on obsessive-compulsive and generalized anxiety symptoms. Specific pathways are discussed in terms of prior research and theory. The hypothesized model was compared to a fully identified version. While statistically significant, the difference in variance explained was not practically meaningful, indicating parsimony and theory driven relationships. Limitations and future directions based on this preliminary work are discussed.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Davis III, Thompson

Included in

Psychology Commons