Psy-World

The Penn State Worry Questionnaire
(PSWQ)

Printable version

 

A 16-item scale developed in 1990. There is strong research support for the ability of the scale to distinguish between patients with GAD and other anxiety disorders.

This scale is in the public domain

 

Instructions: Rate each of the following statements on a scale of 1 (“not at all typical of me”) to 5 (“very typical of me”). Do not leave any items blank

Not at all typical of me

Very typical of me

1. If I do not have enough time to do everything, I do not worry about it.

1
2
3
4
5

2. My worries overwhelm me.

1
2
3
4
5

3. I do not tend to worry about things.

1
2
3
4
5

4. Many situations make me worry.

1
2
3
4
5

5. I know I should not worry about things, but I just cannot help it.

1
2
3
4
5

6. When I am under pressure I worry a lot.

1
2
3
4
5

7. I am always worrying about something.

1
2
3
4
5

8. I find it easy to dismiss worrisome thoughts.

1
2
3
4
5

9. As soon as I finish one task, I start to worry about everything else I have to do.

1
2
3
4
5

10. I never worry about anything.

1
2
3
4
5

11. When there is nothing more I can do about a concern, I do not worry about it any more.

1
2
3
4
5

12. I have been a worrier all my life.

1
2
3
4
5

13. I notice that I have been worrying about things.

1
2
3
4
5

14. Once I start worrying, I cannot stop.

1
2
3
4
5

15. I worry all the time.

1
2
3
4
5

16. I worry about projects until they are all done.

1
2
3
4
5

 

Scoring the PSWQ

In scoring the PSWQ, a value of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 is assigned to a response depending upon whether the item is worded positively or negatively. The total score of the scale thus ranges from 16 to 80.

Items 1, 3, 8, 10, 11 are reverse scored as follows:

• Very typical of me = 1 (circled 5 on the sheet)
• Circled 4 on the sheet = 2
• Circled 3 on the sheet = 3
• Circled 2 on the sheet = 4
• Not at all typical of me = 5 (circled 1 on the sheet)

For items 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 the scoring is:

• Not at all typical of me = 1
• Ratings of 2, 3, and 4 are not transformed
• Very typical of me = 5

16-39 - low anxiety
40-59 - medium anxiety
60-80 - high anxiety

Reference: Meyer TJ, Miller ML, Metzger RL, Borkovec TD: Development and Validation of the Penn State Worry Questionnaire. Behaviour Research and Therapy 28:487-495,1990


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