Systematic, controlled therapy research on generalized anxiety disorder, a prevalent disorder characterized by chronic worry, has only recently begun. Review of extant theoretical and empirical literature including recent basic and therapy outcome research suggests that, although a combined cognitive behavioral intervention package (applied relaxation, self-control desensitization, and cognitive therapy) which targets intrapersonal anxious process is effective in treating this disorder, losses in therapeutic gains by long-term follow-up may be due to a failure of CBT to address significant interpersonal/emotional processing problems. Consequently, a CBT that includes interpersonal/ emotional processing therapy techniques is likely to yield greater and more long-lasting improvements. The proposed study will therefore compare (a) the current, best available CBT package plus a supportive listening therapy element and (b) the same CBT package plus an interpersonal/ emotional processing therapy element. The supportive listening element in the former condition is designed to equate the two conditions for total amount of therapy time. Outcome will be assessed at posttherapy and again at 6, 12, and 24 months after therapy. Several process measures and secondary outcome measures (including a psychophysiological laboratory session measuring central and peripheral physiological activity during theoretically relevant tasks and administered at pretherapy and posttherapy) and the assessment of matched nonanxious control subjects will provide information regarding the nature of the psychopathology and the nature of the mechanisms of therapeutic change.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-CRB-B (01))
Program Officer
Street, Linda L
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Pennsylvania State University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
University Park
United States
Zip Code
Newman, Michelle G; Castonguay, Louis G; Jacobson, Nicholas C et al. (2015) Adult attachment as a moderator of treatment outcome for generalized anxiety disorder: Comparison between cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) plus supportive listening and CBT plus interpersonal and emotional processing therapy. J Consult Clin Psychol 83:915-25
Conybeare, Daniel; Behar, Evelyn; Solomon, Ari et al. (2012) The PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version: reliability, validity, and factor structure in a nonclinical sample. J Clin Psychol 68:699-713
Newman, Michelle G; Castonguay, Louis G; Borkovec, Thomas D et al. (2011) A randomized controlled trial of cognitive-behavioral therapy for generalized anxiety disorder with integrated techniques from emotion-focused and interpersonal therapies. J Consult Clin Psychol 79:171-81
Newman, Michelle G; Llera, Sandra J (2011) A novel theory of experiential avoidance in generalized anxiety disorder: a review and synthesis of research supporting a contrast avoidance model of worry. Clin Psychol Rev 31:371-82
Przeworski, Amy; Newman, Michelle G; Pincus, Aaron L et al. (2011) Interpersonal pathoplasticity in individuals with generalized anxiety disorder. J Abnorm Psychol 120:286-98
Oathes, Desmond J; Ray, William J; Yamasaki, Alissa S et al. (2008) Worry, generalized anxiety disorder, and emotion: evidence from the EEG gamma band. Biol Psychol 79:165-70
Newman, Michelle G; Castonguay, Louis G; Borkovec, Thomas D et al. (2008) AN OPEN TRIAL OF INTEGRATIVE THERAPY FOR GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER. Psychotherapy 45:135-147
Behar, Evelyn; Alcaine, Oscar; Zuellig, Andrea R et al. (2003) Screening for generalized anxiety disorder using the Penn State Worry Questionnaire: a receiver operating characteristic analysis. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry 34:25-43