The Structure and Dynamics of Worry: Theory, Measurement, and Cross-National Replications

Klaus Boehnke*, Shalom Schwartz, Claudia Stromberg, Lilach Sagiv

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article presents a comprehensive conceptualization of the structure of worry and the relation of worry to mental health and well-being. It is assumed that worries have two facets, namely, the object of a worry (e.g., self, close others, society, the world) and the domain of a worry (the field of life with which it is concerned). The object of a worry is presumed to be more important than its domain in determining the impact of worries on mental health. Only worries concerned with self and close others (micro worries) are expected to be related to poor mental health, whereas worries about society or the entire world (macro worries) are expected to be positively related to mental health. An instrument is introduced to study worries in accordance with the proposed structure. Its validity is tested by two confirmatory techniques (similarity structure analysis and confirmatory factor analysis) in samples from Israel, West Germany, and (the former) East Germany. Worry scores are also related to five mental health indicators. Results show that across samples micro and macro worries can validly be distinguished. Micro worries are strongly related to poor mental health, whereas macro worries are unrelated to mental health or relate marginally to positive well-being.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)745-782
Number of pages38
JournalJournal of Personality
Volume66
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1998

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The Structure and Dynamics of Worry: Theory, Measurement, and Cross-National Replications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this