Preliminary factor and psychometric analysis of the Motivation for Fear (MOTIF) survey

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To address the call for evidence-based functional assessments, this study determined the factor structure and psychometric properties (i.e., reliability, convergent and discriminant validity) of the Motivation for Fear (MOTIF) survey, a newly created, 24-item functional measure of fear and anxiety. Participants were 1277 college students (ages 18-35 years; 74.7% female). A separate questionnaire verified presence of anxiety symptoms, resulting in 583 participants. Exploratory factory analysis, scree plot, parallel analysis, and oblique rotation, were used. Results converged on a 4-factor simple structure solution with 18 items. The functions (distress, attention/comfort-seeking, tangible, and escape) explained 43% of the variance and internal consistency was above .70 for distress and attention/comfort-seeking. The distress and attention/comfort-seeking functions demonstrated clear reliability and support was found for discriminant and convergent construct validity of the MOTIF. Evidence was lacking regarding functional convergent validity, however. Implications for the findings and potential for clinical use are discussed.

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Journal of anxiety disorders

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