Graduate Program

School Psychology

Degree Name

Specialist in School Psychology

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Ronan S. Bernas


This study identified which among several factors would best predict the tendency to worry in male and female adolescents. The potential predictors were divided into two different categories: personal and interpersonal factors. Personal factors included perfectionism, self-consciousness, and locus of control. Interpersonal factors included parental attachment, parenting style, and peer attachment.

Participants in the study completed several scales that measured the predictors. The data were then analyzed to determine the relative contribution of each factor in predicting worry, and to specify the factors that best predict worry. Gender differences in worry levels and in how the factors predicted worry were also examined.

Multiple regression analyses were conducted and results indicate that self-consciousness (personal factor) was the single best predictor for the tendency to worry in female adolescents. In other words, the more self-conscious a girl was purported to be, the more likely she was to worry. Meanwhile, for male adolescents, the best set of predictors included perfectionism (a personal factor) and parental attachment (an interpersonal predictor). The more perfectionistic and less securely attached the male child is to his parent(s), the more likely that adolescent was to worry.

However, analyses also indicate that gender differences in worry predictions cannot be accounted for solely by personal and interpersonal factors, and may be better explained by other factors not examined in the study. These factors help frame the discussion of the findings. Issues in worry and attachment theory are also discussed.