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Psychometric Properties of the Worry Behaviors Inventory: Replication and Extension in a Large Clinical and Community Sample

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 July 2017

Alison E. J. Mahoney*
Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression, University of New South Wales at St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Megan J. Hobbs
Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression, University of New South Wales at St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Jill M. Newby
Department of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Alishia D. Williams
Department of Clinical Psychology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Gavin Andrews
Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression, University of New South Wales at St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia
*Correspondence to Dr Alison Mahoney, Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression, University of New South Wales at St Vincent's Hospital, Level 4 O'Brien Centre, 394–404 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010, Australia. E-mail:


Background: The use of maladaptive behaviors by individuals with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is theoretically important and clinically meaningful. However, little is known about the specificity of avoidant behaviors to GAD and how these behaviors can be reliably assessed. Aims: This study replicated and extended the psychometric evaluation of the Worry Behaviors Inventory (WBI), a brief self-report measure of avoidant behaviors associated with GAD. Method: The WBI was administered to a hospital-based sample of adults seeking treatment for symptoms of anxiety and/or depression (n = 639) and to a community sample (n = 55). Participants completed measures of symptom severity (GAD, depression, panic disorder, health anxiety, and personality disorder), and measures of checking, reassurance-seeking and behavioral inhibition. Analyses evaluated the factor structure, convergent, divergent, incremental, and discriminant validity, as well the temporal stability and treatment sensitivity of the WBI. Results: The two-factor structure found in the preliminary psychometric evaluation of the WBI was replicated. The WBI was sensitive to changes across treatment and correlated well with measures of GAD symptom severity and maladaptive behaviors. The WBI was more strongly related to GAD symptom severity than other disorders. The WBI discriminated between clinical and community samples. Conclusions: The WBI provides clinicians and researchers with a brief, clinically meaningful index of problematic behaviors that may guide treatment decisions and contribute to our understanding of maintaining factors in GAD.

Research Article
Copyright © British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies 2017 

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