Metacognitive Beliefs and Emotional Dysregulation Have a Specific Contribution on Worry and the Emotional Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • José M. SalgueroEmail author
  • J. Ramos-Cejudo
  • E. García-Sancho


Metacognitive beliefs and emotional dysregulation are theoretically relevant and empirically supported variables for explaining worry and emotional symptoms in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). These variables are proposed in alternative models of GAD and tested in separate research. This study first examined the relationships between metacognitive beliefs and emotional dysregulation and, second, analyzed the specific contribution of these variables to worry and emotional GAD symptoms. Correlation analyses revealed participants (n = 768) who had dysfunctional beliefs about their cognitive functioning also tended to have more difficulties with emotional regulation. Structural equation analyses revealed metacognitive beliefs and emotional dysregulation have a specific contribution to worry and emotional symptoms in GAD. We found strong correlations between metacognitive beliefs and worry, and between emotional dysregulation and emotional GAD symptoms. Moreover, the associations of metacognitive beliefs with worry and emotional symptoms remain significant when the effect of emotional dysregulation was accounted for. However, the association between emotional dysregulation and worry become non-significant when the effect of metacognitive beliefs was controlled for. These results help clarify the unique contribution of metacognition and emotional dysregulation on GAD and suggest that both variables should be integrated into a more comprehensive model and therapy for this anxiety disorder.


Metacognition Metacognitive beliefs Emotion regulation GAD Worry 


Funding Information

This research was supported in part by project PSI2017-83463-R of Spanish Government.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • José M. Salguero
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. Ramos-Cejudo
    • 2
  • E. García-Sancho
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Personality, Evaluation and Psychological TreatmentUniversity of MalagaMálagaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Personality, Evaluation and Psychological Treatment IComplutense University of MadridMadridSpain
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CordobaCordobaSpain

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