The present investigation examined incremental associations between anxiety sensitivity (AS) subfactors (e.g. physical, psychological, and social concerns) and posttraumatic stress and panic symptoms among trauma-exposed adults. These effects were examined above and beyond other theoretically relevant factors, including negative affectivity and number of types of trauma exposures. The 239 participants were selected from a university- and community-based sample (129 women; mean age = 23.0 years; SD = 9.6, range = 18-65), all of whom endorsed exposure to traumatic life events. The AS psychological concerns and AS physical concerns lower order factors evidenced distinct associations with posttraumatic stress symptoms and panic-relevant symptoms, respectively. Specifically, the AS psychological concerns facet was significantly incrementally predictive of posttraumatic stress-relevant avoidance symptoms. The AS physical concerns facet was significantly incrementally predictive of panic-relevant symptoms, including anxious arousal, body vigilance, and perceived control over anxiety-related events. Results are discussed in the context of the relevant theoretical literature pertaining to shared vulnerability and comorbidity between posttraumatic stress and panic.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a National Research Service Award (1 F31 DA021006- 01) granted to Anka Vujanovic and by National Institute on Drug Abuse research grants (1 R01 MH076629-01, 1 R01 DA018734-01A1, and R03 DA16307-01) awarded to Dr. Zvolensky. Dr. Bernstein acknowledges that this work was also supported in part by VA Office of Academic Affairs and Health Services Research and Development Service Research funds.
- Anxiety sensitivity
- Panic attacks
- Panic disorder
- Posttraumatic stress
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology