The factor structure of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory: an alternative view

J Pers Assess. 2008 May;90(3):280-5. doi: 10.1080/00223890701885027.


Past studies of the factor structure of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI; Spielberger, Gorsuch, Lushene, Vagg, & Jacobs, 1983) have arrived at various solutions. However, a relatively strong consensus supports a four-factor (State Anxiety Present, State Anxiety Absent, Trait Anxiety Present, and Trait Anxiety Absent) structure of the scale resulting from the combination of item polarity dimensions and the original two factors (State and Trait Anxiety). In this article, we assessed the adequacy of an alternative factor model of STAI data, the two-construct, two-method model, in three large samples using confirmatory factor analysis. The results revealed a statistical advantage of the two-construct, two-method model over the one-factor model, the two-construct factor model, and the four-factor model. We discuss possible interpretational advantages of the two-construct, two-method model of the STAI.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / diagnosis*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Ontario
  • Personality Inventory*
  • Psychometrics
  • Quebec