Risk-factor research and prevention programs for anxiety disorders: A translational research framework

Michael J. Zvolensky, Norman B. Schmidt, Amit Bernstein, Meghan E. Keough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the present essay is to discuss the interconnection between risk-factor research and prevention program development for panic-spectrum psychopathology. We argue that prevention of panic-spectrum psychopathology specifically, and anxiety disorders more generally, is likely to be best advanced through active, systematic translation of basic, risk-factor research. After operationalizing key terminology, we present some exemplar risk-factor candidates for panic-spectrum psychopathology, summarize research related to their role as risk-factors for panic problems, and link this discussion to risk-factor nomenclature. We then present a translational framework for extrapolating extant knowledge on these and other potential risk-factors for panic-spectrum psychopathology with respect to the development of preventative interventions. The proposed translational framework is intended to describe a forward-feeding process by which risk-factor research could be used by clinical researchers to inform prevention programs; and reciprocally, how such prevention knowledge could be most effectively utilized to drive new, clinically focused risk-factor research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1219-1239
Number of pages21
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper was supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse research grants (1 R01 DA018734-01A1, R03 DA16307-01, and 1 R21 DA016227-01) awarded to Dr. Zvolensky and MH62056-01A2 awarded to Dr. Schmidt. This work also was supported by a National Research Service Award (F31 MH073205-01) awarded to Amit Bernstein.


  • Anxiety
  • Anxiety sensitivity
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Negative affectivity
  • Panic attacks
  • Prevention
  • Translational

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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