Document Detail

The convergent validity of the Phobia Origins Questionnaire (POQ): a review of the evidence.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9737060     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The Phobic Origins Questionnaire (POQ) [Ost, L.-G. & Hugdahl, K. (1981). Acquisition of phobias and anxiety response patterns in clinical patients. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 19, 439-447.] is the most commonly cited instrument for determining the origins of phobic anxiety and data obtained using this instrument strongly support the role of conditioning in the acquisition of fear reactions. The construct validity of the POQ in assessing episodes of conditioning has been questioned [e.g. Menzies, R. G. & Clarke, J. C. (1994). Retrospective studies of the origins of phobias: a review. Anxiety, Stress and Coping, 7, 305-318.] This paper examined the convergent validity of the POQ by comparing origins' classifications based on the POQ to classifications based on alternative instruments. The convergent validity of the POQ was found to be extremely poor. The POQ was consistently associated with a much greater likelihood of classifying the origin of fear reactions as due to direct conditioning episodes than was found using alternative instruments. The findings question the usefulness of the POQ in examining the origins of phobic anxiety.
R G Menzies; K Kirkby; L M Harris
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Behaviour research and therapy     Volume:  36     ISSN:  0005-7967     ISO Abbreviation:  Behav Res Ther     Publication Date:  1998 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1998-10-27     Completed Date:  1998-10-27     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372477     Medline TA:  Behav Res Ther     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1081-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Behavioural Sciences, Faculty of Health Services, University of Sydney, Lidcombe, NSW, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Conditioning (Psychology)
Fear / classification*
Phobic Disorders / diagnosis*
Predictive Value of Tests
Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards*
Reproducibility of Results

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