Intolerance of Uncertainty Moderates the Relation between Negative Life Events and Anxiety
Coauthor(s): Charlene Y. Chen and Ryan Y. Hong
The role of Intolerance of Uncertainty (IU) as a moderating factor of anxiety has been largely unexplored in the literature. The link between stress and uncertainty suggests theoretically that IU could augment the negative impact of stressors on anxiety levels. Consistent with a diathesis-stress model, the present article examined the interactive effect of IU and daily hassles on anxiety symptoms in a non-clinical sample of 110 undergraduates. Findings indicated that IU moderated the relation between daily hassles and residual change in anxiety symptoms over a one-month period, such that daily hassles increased these symptoms among individuals with high IU but not those with low IU. In particular, beliefs that uncertainty impaired behavior and reflected poorly on the individual’s character were found to contribute to this significant interaction effect. Contrary to expectation, IU did not moderate the relation between daily hassles and worry. Possible reasons for the observed discrepancy and its implications are discussed in light of these findings.
Charlene Y. Chen and Ryan Y. Hong "Intolerance of Uncertainty Moderates the Relation between Negative Life Events and Anxiety." Personality and Individual Differences, 49(1), 49-53. (2010).