This study evaluated the anxiety sensitivity taxon using the 16-item Anxiety Sensitivity Index in relation to 2 criteria relevant to post-traumatic stress disorder; post-traumatic stress disorder symptom severity as indexed by the Post-Traumatic Diagnostic Scale, and post-traumatic cognitions as indexed by the Post-Traumatic Cognitions Inventory. Taxometric analyses of data collected from 331 young adults indicated that the latent structure of anxiety sensitivity was taxonic with an estimated base-rate range of 11-12%. As predicted, an 8-item Anxiety Sensitivity Index Taxon Scale accounted for significant variance above and beyond that accounted for by negative affectivity and the full-scale Anxiety Sensitivity Index total score in terms of both criteria. Moreover, after accounting for variance explained by the full-scale Anxiety Sensitivity Index total score and negative affectivity, the sum score for the 8 Anxiety Sensitivity Index items not included in the Anxiety Sensitivity Index Taxon Scale was associated with significant variance in these same dependent measures, but the relation was in the opposite direction to that predicted by theory. These findings are discussed in terms of theoretical and clinical implications for the study of anxiety sensitivity and post-traumatic stress disorder vulnerability.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was supported by a National Research Service Award pre-doctoral fellowship (F31 MH073205-01) awarded to Amit Bernstein, a National Institute on Drug Abuse research grant (R21 DA016227-01) awarded to Michael Zvolensky, and a National Research Service Award pre-doctoral fellowship (F31 MH66430-01) awarded to Matthew Feldner.
- Anxiety sensitivity
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Post-traumatic stress symptoms
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology