Trait anxiety and fearfulness

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Dean G. Kilpatrick
Philip G. Mcleod
Cite this article:  Kilpatrick, D., & Mcleod, P. (1973). Trait anxiety and fearfulness. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 1(2), 119-122.


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To evaluate the relationship between trait anxiety (TA) and fearfulness, 36 female nursing students were given the Wolpe-Lang Fear Survey Schedule (FSSIII) and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). High TA participants selected from this sample were found to be more fearful than low TA participants, and a correlation of 0.52 was obtained between fearfulness scores and TA scores. An analysis of the items and situations rated as most fear-producing indicated that half of these items represented social or interpersonal fears, and that one-third of the participants rated harmless snakes as very much disturbing. These findings appear to support Spielberger’s contention that TA represents susceptibility to arousal of state anxiety by a variety of stimuli and stimulus situations.
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