This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

An Examination of Intolerance of Uncertainty, Anxiety, and Spirituality in College Undergraduates




LaPolla, Madeline

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Special Education, Rehabilitation, Counseling


Feelings of distress over the unknowns of the future refers to an intolerance of uncertainty (IU). IU is significantly linked to internalizing disorders like anxiety. College students are in a unique position of uncertainty and anxiety as they emerge into adulthood. Additionally, external sources of uncertainty, like the economy, may contribute to feelings of anxiety over the future due to negative perceptions of its stability and certainty. Coping skills, like spirituality, may lessen the feelings of IU and anxiety that college students experience. Past research has explored the relationship between IU and spirituality and IU and anxiety, yet there exists a gap in the literature examining all three factors, especially with college students. Thus, the current study aimed to explore the relationship between anxiety, IU, and spirituality in undergraduate college students. Specifically, the study explored the moderating effects of spirituality between IU and anxiety. Results found significant positive correlations between the three variables. However, spirituality was not found to be a significant moderator between IU and anxiety. These results are discussed with implications for counselors and counselor educators.