Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 242–255 | Cite as

Development and Preliminary Validation of the Thought Control Questionnaire for Adolescents (TCQ-A)

  • Amanda H. Gill
  • Costas Papageorgiou
  • Sarah L. Gaskell
  • Adrian Wells
Original Article


The Thought Control Questionnaire (TCQ, Wells and Davies in Behav Res Therapy, 32, pp 871–878, 1994) measures individual differences in thought suppression strategies. This study describes the development and psychometric properties of an adolescent version of the questionnaire. Pilot studies were conducted to make some of the items more accessible to young people while still retaining the meaning of the original items. The adolescent version of the questionnaire and measures of emotional disorder were then administered to 589 school pupils aged 13–17 years. Confirmatory factor analysis yielded mixed results with only partial support for a five factor solution. Subsequently exploratory factor analysis did suggest a five factor structure that was the same as the original TCQ with the only difference being two fewer items. The five factors were distraction, social control, worry, punishment and reappraisal. The TCQ-A showed good internal consistency and evidence of stability over time. Scores on the worry and punishment subscales were positively correlated with measures of emotional symptoms. These data provided initial support for the psychometric properties of the TCQ-A and extend findings suggesting worry and punishment strategies are associated with psychological vulnerability.


Thought control Psychopathology Adolescents Worry Punishment 



We would like to thank the young people who participated in this study. The original research was conducted while the first author was undertaking a doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Lancaster University.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amanda H. Gill
    • 1
    • 5
  • Costas Papageorgiou
    • 2
  • Sarah L. Gaskell
    • 1
  • Adrian Wells
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation TrustManchesterUK
  2. 2.The Priory HospitalAltrinchamUK
  3. 3.University of ManchesterManchesterUK
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyNTNUTrondheimNorway
  5. 5.North Manchester CAMHSManchesterUK

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