The revised Anxious Thoughts and Tendencies (AT&T) scale: a general measure of anxiety-prone cognitive style. Academic Article uri icon


  • The AT&T was developed from a perspective which proposes that panic disorder with agoraphobia arises from interaction between a specific biological predisposition, expressed in spontaneous panic attacks, and a general anxiety-prone cognitive style. Many items of the original AT&T, a putative measure of the cognitive component, were complex and ambiguous; and normative data were not available.In this research, the items were simplified and clarified. A community sample of northern New Mexico Hispanics and geographically matched non-Hispanic whites was identified from an earlier epidemiological study. The sample included 151 Anglos and 168 Hispanics; 98 respondents aged 18-34, 75 aged 35-49, 69 aged 50-64, and 77 aged 65 or more; and 111 men and 208 women.Factor analysis produced one major factor with high loadings from the 15 negatively worded items, that accounted for about 41% of the total variation in the 15 items. The mean major factor score for Anglos was 1.65 with a standard deviation of 0.48, and for Hispanics was 1.76+/-0.52. F = 4.17, df = 1/311, P < 0.05, and effect size d = 0.22. There were no significant age or gender effects. Item analysis of the major factor produced item/total correlations from 0.49 to 0.68 and a Cronbach's alpha of 0.91. In a separate clinical sample of 30 patients with panic disorder, the test-retest correlation of the major factor at baseline and after 8 weeks of treatment was 0.75. In the community sample, the correlations of the major factor with anxiety-related clusters of the SCL-90 were: Somatization, 0.36; Anxiety, 0.53: and Phobia, 0.44.We recommend that the AT&T be reduced to the 15 items of its major factor, and we supply quantiles and moments based on the full community sample of 319 as a standard of comparison. Further research with the AT&T in clinical samples of patients with anxiety disorders is ongoing.

publication date

  • March 1999