Conceptual Models

  • Michael E. Portman

Chronic worry has been the focus of psychological theories of GAD. This excessive cognitive activity has been viewed by most theorists as not being accompanied by heightened physiological symptomatology emanating in the autonomic nervous system – hypervigilance, increased motor tension, or behavioral inhibition. According to Akiskal (1998), emotionality is a core feature of an anxious temperament, rather than the core feature of GAD. In other words, this anxious temperament is a personality trait that reflects episodes of GAD, where somatic arousal occurs with acute and chronic symptoms. Rickels and Rynn (2001) argue that there is the danger of conceptual oversimplification when GAD is predominantly viewed as a disorder of maladaptive processing that leads to worry. They make a case that somatic, not just cognitive, symptoms are both features of GAD, depending on the particular individual.

Theories of GAD need to account for the cognitive, biological maintaining factors plus proximal...


Anxiety Disorder Emotional Dysregulation Cognitive Vulnerability Anxious Arousal Negative Cognitive Style 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cleveland Veterans AdministrationCase Western Reserve UniversityUSA

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