Select an Instrument for a Psychological DisorderIn prepara…

Select an Instrument for a Psychological Disorder In preparation for this assignment, select a psychological test that examines any of the following: pervasive developmental, behavior disorders, substance-related, depression, cognitive-related, or dementia, anxiety, or eating disorders. Find three peer-reviewed articles outside of your textbook on the selected psychological measure of your choice. At least one should discuss historical lineage, prevalence and incidence rates of the disorder(s) and at least one should discuss theoretical concepts of the disorder.


In this assignment, we will explore the selection of a psychological test for a specific disorder. The chosen disorder for this assignment is anxiety, a prevalent and complex psychological condition that affects a significant portion of the population. Three peer-reviewed articles beyond the course textbook have been selected to provide a comprehensive understanding of the chosen psychological measure.

Overview of Anxiety

Anxiety disorders encompass a range of conditions characterized by excessive and persistent feelings of fear, worry, and unease. These disorders significantly impact an individual’s daily life and can manifest in various forms, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder (SAD), and specific phobias. The lifetime prevalence rates of anxiety disorders range from 12% to 30% (National Institute of Mental Health, 2017), making them a widespread concern in the field of mental health.

Selected Psychological Measure: Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS)

For this assignment, the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS) has been chosen as the psychological measure for assessing anxiety. HARS is a widely used clinician-administered rating scale developed by Max Hamilton in 1959 (Hamilton, 1959). It consists of 14 items that assess anxiety symptoms, such as anxious mood, tension, insomnia, and physical symptoms related to anxiety. Each item is scored on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 0 (absence of symptoms) to 4 (severe symptoms). The total score provides a quantitative measure of the severity of anxiety symptoms, with higher scores indicating more significant impairment.

Article 1: Historical Lineage and Prevalence of Anxiety Disorders

The first article, “A Historical Review of Anxiety Disorders: From Hippocrates to DSM-5” by Bandelow, Michaelis, and Wedekind (2017), provides an extensive historical overview of anxiety disorders and the evolution of their diagnostic classification. The authors trace the concept of anxiety back to ancient Greek and Roman civilizations and discuss significant contributions made by prominent psychiatrists and psychologists throughout history. They also highlight the major changes in diagnostic criteria for anxiety disorders in successive editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

The article further delves into the prevalence and incidence rates of anxiety disorders. Bandelow et al. (2017) cite epidemiological studies indicating the high worldwide prevalence of anxiety disorders, which range from 14% to 29%. They also note the gender differences in prevalence, with females consistently reporting higher rates of anxiety disorders compared to males. The article concludes by emphasizing the need for further research and advancements in the understanding and treatment of anxiety disorders.

Article 2: Theoretical Concepts of Anxiety Disorders

The second article, “Anxiety Disorders: A Conceptual Framework” by Barlow (2002), offers a comprehensive review of the theoretical concepts underlying anxiety disorders. Barlow proposes a unified framework for understanding anxiety disorders, drawing on cognitive, behavioral, and biological theories. He discusses how cognitive biases, such as attentional biases towards threat-related stimuli, and maladaptive beliefs contribute to the maintenance and exacerbation of anxiety symptoms.

Barlow (2002) also highlights the role of conditioning and reinforcement in the development of anxiety disorders. He explains how fear responses become associated with initially neutral stimuli through classical conditioning and how avoidance behaviors are reinforced through negative reinforcement. Additionally, the article explores the role of temperament and genetic factors in vulnerability to anxiety disorders.

Article 3: Clinical Utility and Validity of HARS

The third article, “Evaluation of the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Predicting Anxiety Disorder in Coronary Heart Disease Patients” by Roest et al. (2010), assesses the clinical utility and validity of HARS in predicting anxiety disorder in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD). The researchers compared the performance of HARS with the widely used State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) in a sample of CHD patients.

Roest et al. (2010) found that both HARS and STAI were useful in predicting anxiety disorders in CHD patients, but HARS demonstrated superior discriminative power. The study highlighted the strengths of HARS, such as its brevity and clinician-rated nature, which could make it a valuable tool in clinical settings for assessing anxiety symptoms in patients with various disorders.


In conclusion, the selection of the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS) as the psychological measure for assessing anxiety provides a comprehensive understanding of the disorder. The three selected articles have addressed various aspects, including the historical lineage, theoretical concepts, and clinical utility of HARS. This information enhances our understanding of anxiety disorders and the assessment process, contributing to the field of psychology and promoting effective treatment approaches for individuals suffering from anxiety.