Revisiting the Factor Structure of the White Bear Suppression Inventory in Adolescents: An Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling Approach

Sarah M. Kennedy, Rebecca A. Grossman, Jill Ehrenreich May

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


The White Bear Suppression Inventory (WBSI; Wegner & Zanakos, 1994), a measure of thought suppression, has been translated into numerous languages and widely used in experimental paradigms and clinical research. However, little is known about the psychometric properties of the measure in adolescents. Further, there is debate as to whether the WBSI is a single-factor measure or a two-factor measure assessing unwanted intrusive thoughts and thought suppression. The current study examined the psychometric properties of the WBSI in a diverse sample of 261 adolescents using exploratory structural equation modeling. Results supported a two-factor structure assessing the correlated factors of Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts and Thought Suppression (r= .64), and factors demonstrated adequate to good internal consistency. Structural equation modeling provided evidence of differential patterns of associations between each factor and self-reported symptoms of anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, and depressive disorders, with intrusive thoughts more strongly associated with reported symptoms of psychopathology than thought suppression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-190
Number of pages5
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016



  • Adolescents
  • Exploratory structural equation modeling
  • Psychopathology
  • Thought suppression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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