Objective: The tripartite model of anxiety and depression has been proposed as a representation of the structure of anxiety and depression symptoms. The Mood and Anxiety Symptom Questionnaire (MASQ) has been put forwards as a valid measure of the tripartite model of anxiety and depression symptoms. This research set out to examine the factor structure of anxiety and depression symptoms in a clinical sample to assess the MASQ’s validity for use in this population.
Method: The present study uses confirmatory factor analytic methods to examine the psychometric properties of the MASQ in 470 outpatients with anxiety and mood disorder.
Results: The results showed that none of the previously reported two-factor, three-factor or five-factor models adequately fit the data, irrespective of whether items or subscales were used as the unit of analysis.
Conclusion: It was concluded that the factor structure of the MASQ in a mixed anxiety/depression clinical sample does not support a structure consistent with the tripartite model. This suggests that researchers using the MASQ with anxious/depressed individuals should be mindful of the instrument’s psychometric limitations.