Psychometric Properties and Prospective Predictive Utility of the Contrast Avoidance Questionnaires

Evan J. White, Demont M. Grant, Jacob D. Kraft, Danielle L. Taylor, Danielle E. Deros, Kaitlyn M. Nagel, Kristen E. Frosio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Recent theoretical research posits that a key factor in the development and maintenance of pathological worry is the avoidance of sudden emotional shifts. Recently two self-report instruments were developed to index this phenomenon (Contrast Avoidance Questionnaire - Worry [CAQ-W] and Contrast Avoidance Questionnaire - General Emotion [CAQ-GE]). This work employed a multi-study design to provide an independent evaluation of the latent structure of these measures; additionally, the validity and longitudinal predictive ability of the measures was examined. Findings of the factor analytic work support a two-factor solution for each of the questionnaires. These were defined as the following subscales: CAQ-W: Emotional Contrast; Negative Affect, and for the CAQ-GE: Avoidance; Discomfort. Test-retest reliability of the measure was strong and the identified subscales demonstrated differential predictive ability regarding future worry and depression. Results indicate that subscales related to the experience of negative affect rather than avoidance, display predictive utility of future symptoms. These findings are somewhat discrepant with extant literature on ecological momentary assessment (EMA) assessment of contrast avoidance indicating the need for refinement in the self-report measurement of this construct.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-472
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychological Assessment
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • anxiety
  • contrast avoidance
  • factor analysis
  • rumination
  • worry


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