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Evidence of denial and item intensity specificity in the state trait anxiety inventory

, : Evidence of denial and item intensity specificity in the state trait anxiety inventory. Personality & Individual Differences 8(2): 185-192

The Dutch form of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) was administered to 188 surgical patients the day before their operations and 3 days later. Scores for the state anxiety-present (S-Anx+) items were consistently lower than for the state anxiety-absent (S-Anx-) items, scores on the S-Anx+items before and after surgery were close to minimum for males. Tentative explanations for these findings and consequences for scoring the STAI State Anxiety scale are indicated. The effects of item-intensity specificity, social desirability, and denial as a mechanism for warding off the distressing emotion of anxiety are discussed.

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