Taxonicity of anxiety sensitivity: A multi-national analysis

Amit Bernstein, Michael J. Zvolensky, Roman Kotov, Willem A. Arrindell, Steven Taylor, Bonifacio Sandin, Brian J. Cox, Sherry H. Stewart, Martine Bouvard, Samuel Jurado Cardenas, Georg H. Eifert, Norman B. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Taxometric coherent cut kinetic analyses were used to test the latent structure of anxiety sensitivity in samples from North America (Canada and United States of America), France, Mexico, Spain, and The Netherlands (total n = 2741). Anxiety sensitivity was indexed by the 36-item Anxiety Sensitivity Index - Revised (ASI-R; [J. Anxiety Disord. 12(5) (1998) 463]). Four manifest indicators of anxiety sensitivity were constructed using the ASI-R: fear of cardiovascular symptoms, fear of respiratory symptoms, fear of publicly observable anxiety reactions, and fear of mental incapacitation. Results from MAXCOV-HITMAX, internal consistency tests, analyses of simulated Monte Carlo data, and a MAMBAC external consistency test indicated that the latent structure of anxiety sensitivity was taxonic in each of the samples. The estimated base rate of the anxiety sensitivity taxon differed slightly between nations, ranging from 11.5 to 21.5%. In general, the four ASI-R based manifest indicators showed high levels of validity. Results are discussed in relation to the conceptual understanding of anxiety sensitivity, with specific emphasis on theoretical refinement of the construct.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Sincere appreciation is expressed to Dr. Timothy Stickle, Dr. Carl Weems, and Dr. David Strong for their instructive comments on an earlier draft of this article. This paper was supported, in part, by National Institute on Drug Abuse research grants (R03 DA16307-01 and 1 R21 DA016227-01) and a Faculty Research Grant from the Anxiety Disorder Association of America awarded to Dr. Zvolensky.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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