Measures of self-efficacy and optimism in older adults with generalized anxiety


This study provides initial psychometric data for the Self-Efficacy Scale (SES) and the Life Orientation Test (LOT) in a sample of older adults with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Participants included 76 adults, ages 60 to 80, who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.) criteria for GAD. Self-efficacy and outcome expectancies were lower in older adults with GAD relative to published data from younger and older community samples. Both the SES and LOT demonstrated adequate internal consistency. Confirmatory factor analysis provided evidence for optimism and pessimism factors within the LOT, and exploratory factor analysis of the SES suggested three factors that overlap with previous findings. Overall, the data support the potential utility of these instruments in late-life GAD and set the stage for future investigations of generalized self-efficacy expectancies and outcome expectancies (or optimism) as they relate to the prediction of affect and behavior in this group.

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