This research develops a concept analysis of anxiety. This analysis begins with the definition of the term "concept," as that terms is applied in the field of psychology, and proceeds to the definition of the psychological term "anxiety." Following these definitions, the criteria for, antecedents of, and consequences flowing from anxiety are identified and explained. The conditions required for a diagnosis of anxiety then are identified and discussed. Case illustrations then are presented for amplification of the conditions required for diagnosis. Lastly, empirical referents applied in the observation and measurement of anxiety are reviewed.
A concept is a general idea or meaning that typically is mediated by a word, symbol, or sign. A concept may combine several elements from different sources to describe and explain a phenomenon (Whitley, 1992, pp. 155-161).
A concept is formed through a process of abstraction that is followed by a process of generalization. At the level of abstraction, a concept is developed on the basis of limited data. At the level of generalization, the parameters of the concept are extended to all entities sharing those characteristics.
An abstract concept is one that cannot be attributed to a specific entity or occurrence. By contrast, a concrete concept refers to a particular entity or outcome.
Anxiety is defined within the context of feelings experienced by a person (Andrew, Terry, & Karageorghis, 1995, pp. 1255-1266). At one level, anxiety is defined as a feeling of mingled dread and apprehension about a being's future in the absence of an attribution of specific cause for such dread and apprehension. At another level anxiety is defined as a chronic feeling of fear by a being. This chronic feeling of fear may be mild in intensity or the feeling fear may be overwhelming for the being. Anxiety also may be a secondary drive involving a acquired avoidance response. In this latter contex...