Validation of the Ambivalent and Purposeful Engagement - Trait Measure

Katya C. Fernandez, Julia K. Langer, Thomas L. Rodebaugh, Tejal A. Jakatdar, Richard G. Heimberg, Eric J. Lenze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The Ambivalent and Purposeful Engagement-Trait Measure (APE-TM) was developed to assess two ways that people may react to stressful social interactions: ambivalent engagement (AE: counterproductive attempts to avoid thoughts and feelings) and purposeful engagement (PE: effortfully approaching and working through thoughts and feelings). We carried out three studies in undergraduate and clinical populations to (i) test the robustness of previous psychometric findings and (ii) determine whether AE and PE are specific to social anxiety. Across three studies, our results indicate that the APE-TM is a psychometrically valid measure of ambivalent and purposeful engagement. However, PE appeared less specific to social anxiety and may represent a more general tendency toward adaptive coping. In contrast, AE was specific to social anxiety in both undergraduate samples and clinical samples of individuals with a variety of anxiety disorders and depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-334
Number of pages18
JournalAnxiety, Stress and Coping
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2014


  • ambivalent and purposeful engagement - trait measure
  • ambivalent engagement
  • purposeful engagement
  • resilient coping
  • social anxiety


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