Boelen, P. A., Vrinssen, I., & Van Tulder, F. (2010). Intolerance of uncertainty in adolescents: Correlations with worry, social anxiety, and depression . Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 198, 194-200.


The current study examined Intolerance of Uncertainty (IU)—the tendency to react negatively to situations that are uncertain—in psychological problems among adolescents. Using data from 191 adolescents, aged 14-18, we examined (a) the dimensionality of IU as tapped by the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale short-form (IUS-12), (b) the relationship of IU with worry, social anxiety, and depression, (c) the specificity of IU to these variables, and (d) the role of IU as a mediator of the linkages between negative affectivity (NA) and worry, social anxiety, and depression. Results showed that the IUS-12 encompassed two components of IU, named Prospective Anxiety and Inhibitory Anxiety. Furthermore, IU was specifically related with worry and social anxiety, but not depression, when controlling the shared variance between these variables and NA, age, and gender. Finally, IU and its two components were found to mediate the linkages of NA with worry and social anxiety.