Baseline verbal fluency performance as predictor of state anxiety during a live hand-grenade throwing exercise - A prospective study of Swedish military conscripts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: We investigated whether individual differences in baseline executive control capacity could predict state anxiety during a potentially life-threatening situation.
Methods: 19 Swedish military conscripts were assessed during two measurement occasions. During a baseline measurement, data regarding performance on a letter fluency task and state anxiety were assessed. During a second measurement, performed immediately prior to
participation in a live hand-grenade throwing exercise, data regarding state anxiety was assessed. All participants were male, right-handed and had fulfilled 12 years of education.
Results: The level of state anxiety was significantly increased between the two measurement occasions (p < .01). Both the number of words produced ( β = -.37; p < .05) and the number of perseveration made ( β = .43; p < .05) on the verbal fluency task predicted, while controlling for state anxiety at baseline, the level of experienced state anxiety during the threatening situation.
Conclusion: Although more research is needed the present finding suggests that individualdifferences in executive control capacity might be related to emotion regulation ability during acute stressor exposure.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology


  • Executive control, state anxiety, prospective, stress
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
JournalBehavioral and Brain Functions
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch