Intolerance of Uncertainty and Pathological Worry as Cognitive Predictors of Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression in University Students

Author: Wadiat Batul

Supervisor: Aisha Sitwat, PhD

Degree: BS

Year: 2009-2013

University: Institute of Applied Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan


The aim of the present study was to find out the relationship between intolerance of uncertainty, pathological worry and symptoms of anxiety and depression in university students as well as to examine predictive relationship of these variables with symptoms of anxiety and depression. Further aim was to see mediational effect of pathological between intolerance of uncertainty and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Data was collected from 204 students from 7 universities  of Lahore. The instruments used were Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale (IUS), Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ) and Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS). The correlation analysis showed a significant relationship all study variables. Pathological worry came out to be most significant predictor of symptoms of depression and intolerance of uncertainty (factor 1) and gender was also surfaced out as its predictors as revealed from regression analysis. Whereas, for symptoms of anxiety, intolerance of uncertainty (factor 1) came out to be most significant predictor and gender and pathological worry were also found as its significant predictor. Mediational analysis showed that pathological worry partially mediated the relationship between intolerance of uncertainty and depression whereas mediation effect was not present for anxiety. Study has implications of understanding the core thinking patterns of students. Gaining knowledge about the nature and mechanisms of these cognitive predictors of depression and anxiety will be helpful for clinical psychologists and other mental health practitioners to find out preventive psychotherapeutic measures for dealing with them.

Keywords: Intolerance of Uncertainty, Pathological Worry, Anxiety, Depression.

Visit University to get the full thesis. Corresponding Address: Department of Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Email:, Phone: 92-42-9231245

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