Structural Modeling of Social Anxiety and Worry Across Cultures
This study examines the generalizability of the triple vulnerability model of anxiety disorders by comparing prior empirical findings by Brown, Chorpita, and Barlow (1998) in a diverse non-clinical sample of Asian or Asian American, Hispanic or Latino, and Caucasian participants. Within the context of cross-cultural comparison, it contributes to the further development of a diathesis-stress model of social anxiety and worry by integrating the constructs of ethnic identity and perceived stress (Carter, Sbrocco, & Carter, 1996) to determine their potential influence on the expression of symptoms in each group. Confirmatory factor analysis, measurement invariance tests, and structural equation modeling are conducted to assess the original structural model, which posited causal pathways from the constructs of positive affect and negative affect to the anxiety symptoms, as well as associations among generalized anxiety and autonomic arousal. Results suggest that although the three groups possess equal form in their measurement models, they are generally not measurement invariant. Structural equation models point to the commonality of negative affect as a core vulnerability, while each group reveals specific differential relationships among other constructs and pathways to anxiety symptoms. Discussion attends to implications of our findings, as well as broader methodological and psychometric issues for cross-cultural comparisons.