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Factor structure of the Mood and Anxiety Symptom Questionnaire does not generalize to an anxious/depressed sample

Authors

  • Mark J. Boschen,

  • Tian P.S. Oei


Mark J. Boschen, Lecturer in Clinical Psychology (Correspondence)
School of Psychology, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland 4726, Australia. Email: m.boschen@griffith.edu.au

Tian P.S. Oei, Professor of Clinical Psychology
School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Abstract

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.

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