Latent structure of anxiety: Taxometric exploration

Roman Kotov, Norman B. Schmidt, Darin R. Lerew, Thomas E. Joiner, Nicholas S. Ialongo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Taxometrics is a statistical tool that can be used to discern categories from continua. Taxometric analyses (MAXCOV and MAXEIG) were conducted in a large nonclinical sample (N = 1,215) to determine whether extreme anxiety forms a distinct psychopathological category, an anxiety taxon. Anxiety was operationalized with self-report measures of subjective anxiety, anxious cognitive style, physiological arousal, and anxiety-related impairment. Procedures consistently identified a taxon with a prevalence of approximately 11%. Examination of the taxon's convergent and discriminant validity revealed that it reflects general distress rather than physiological arousal. Taxon membership showed some evidence of incremental validity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-374
Number of pages6
JournalPsychological Assessment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005


  • Anxiety
  • General distress
  • Taxometrics
  • Taxon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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