Self reported attentional control with the Attentional Control Scale: Factor structure and relationship with symptoms of anxiety and depression

Ragnar P. Ólafsson*, Jakob Smári, Frídur Gudmundsdóttir, Gunnhildur Ólafsdóttir, Hrafnhildur L. Hardardóttir, Svavar M. Einarsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Attentional Control Scale (ACS) is a self-report questionnaire that has been developed to measure individual differences in attentional control. Despite its fairly widespread use, little is known about the psychometric properties of the scale in adult samples. In the present study, factor structure of the ACS and its relationship with symptoms of anxiety and depression was investigated in a total sample of 728 Icelandic university students. Exploratory factor analysis in sample 1 (n= 361), yielded two factors, labeled focusing and shifting. Confirmatory factor analysis in sample 2 (n= 367) showed a reasonable fit of this two factor model. The two factors correlated strongly (0.73). The two subscales showed different predictive validity in a set of hierarchical regression analyses where the focusing subscale made a significant prediction of anxiety scores when depression scores were controlled for, and the shifting subscale significant prediction of depression scores when anxiety scores were controlled for. These findings are discussed in relation to previous studies on attentional and executive control in anxiety and depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)777-782
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Volume25
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011

Other keywords

  • Adults
  • Anxiety
  • Attentional control
  • Depression
  • Factor structure

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