Development and validation of the thought control ability questionnaire

Personality and Individual Differences

Previous research suggests that an individual difference factor could account for the divergent findings
across thought suppression studies. The present study reports on the development and validation of the
Thought Control Ability Questionnaire (TCAQ), a self-report measure of individual differences in the perceived
ability to control unwanted, intrusive thoughts. The TCAQ and a battery of instruments that assess
emotional vulnerability, psychopathological symptoms and thought control strategies were administered to
211 Spanish university students. Data analysis yielded a unidimensional instrument with 25 items that
showed high internal consistency and test?retest reliability. In addition, the TCAQ had significant negative
relationships with trait anxiety (STAI-T), neuroticism (EPQ-N), depressive symptomatology (BDI), guilt
feelings (SC-35), worry (PSWQ), obsessive?compulsive symptoms (MOCI) and with the use of self-punishment
as thought control strategy (TCQ). The implications of these results are discussed in relation to
thought suppression and clinical research.

Keywords: Thought suppression; Thought control; Unwanted intrusive thoughts; Emotional vulnerability; Psychopathological
symptoms; Cognitive processes