Modeling of the effect of coping with stress styles on GAD by brain's executive functions


Department of Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Al-Zahra University, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to investigate the executive functions (EFs) as the mediators between coping with stress styles and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). We examined two styles of coping with stress (problem focused coping (PFC) and emotion focused coping (EFC)) and eight executive functions (inhibition, flexibility, focusing, working memory, decision making, reasoning, problem solving, and meta-cognition).Method: This research was administrated in 250 GAD clinical patients that selected as available samples. SCID interview and DASS-21 applied to diagnose the moderate level of GAD as well as to quantification of the data. The N-Back, Strop, Tower of London and the other tests were the software tests to measure the executive functions.Results: Results showed that the model of coping with stress styles with eight EF mediators to GAD contains the goodness of fit. Both inhibition and flexibility were the mediators that affected GAD were determined as proprietary EFs of this disorder. The meta-cognition was an EF that was affected from both inhibition and working memory.Conclusion: Findings generally showed that PFC is not applied by GAD patients and do not affect GAD except by meta-cognition whereas EFC affect it by inhibition, flexibility, working memory and decision making.


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