Graduation Year

2004

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Spielberger, Charles D.

Keywords

Arabic, Middle East, language, anxiety, adaptation, cross-cultural

Abstract

The main goal of the present study was to develop an Arabic adaptation of the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI, Form Y, Spielberger, 1983). In addition, cultural and linguistic influences on the experience and expression of anxiety were assessed. The American STAI and fifty initial Arabic items were administered to 286 university students at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. The American STAI was also administered to 336 university students at the University of South Florida. Item and factor analyses were conducted on responses of the calibration sample to obtain the final set of Arabic items, which was validated using the responses of the validation sample.

In conducting item selection and validation of the Arabic STAI, internal consistency coefficients for subscales, corrected item-total correlations, alpha coefficients if-item-deleted, item-factor loadings, and theoretical meaningfulness were all used as criteria for selection of the best 10 Arabic items to be included in each subscale of the STAI: S-Anxiety Absent, S-Anxiety Present, T-Anxiety Absent, T-Anxiety present. The two-factor solution for the Arabic STAI yielded a simple solution with two distinct factors: Anxiety Present and Anxiety Absent for each of S-Anxiety and T-Anxiety, lending more support to the theoretical distinction of state and trait anxiety. Lebanese students reported significantly higher anxiety levels than their American peers on S-Anxiety Present, T-Anxiety Absent, and T-Anxiety Present, S-Anxiety and T-Anxiety of the American STAI.

For S-Anxiety Absent, scores for the Lebanese sample were lower than American students but did not reach significance levels. S-Anxiety Absent and T-Anxiety Absent subscales assessed lower levels of anxiety rather than the higher levels of anxiety assessed by S-Anxiety Present and T-Anxiety Present. Females tend to experience and express higher levels of mild and severe anxiety symptoms as compared to males in both samples. Factor analyses of the American STAI for the American and Lebanese samples revealed similar two and three- factor solutions. For each of the State and trait subscales, three factors emerged: Anxiety Absent, Worry, and Emotionality factors, denoting the importance of cognitions and feelings in the experience and expression of anxiety

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