Taxonicity of anxiety sensitivity: An empirical test among youth

Amit Bernstein, Michael J. Zvolensky, Carl Weems, Timothy Stickle, Ellen W. Leen-Feldner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Taxometric coherent cut kinetic analyses were used to test the latent structure of anxiety sensitivity (AS) among 371 youth. Anxiety sensitivity was indexed by the 18-item Childhood Anxiety Sensitivity Index (CASI; Silverman et al., J. Clin. Child Psychol. (1991), 20, 162-168). Two sets of manifest indicators of AS were constructed using the CASI: (1) three item-parcel manifest indicators: disease concerns, unsteady concerns, and mental illness concerns; and (2) nine single-item indicators representing each of these three facets of AS. Results from standard and short-scale MAXCOV procedures, internal consistency tests, analyses of simulated Monte Carlo data, and MAMBAC external consistency tests indicated that the latent structure of anxiety sensitivity among youth was taxonic. Estimated base rate of the observed AS taxon ranged between 13.6 and 16.5%. The present findings are discussed in terms of theoretical implications for the study of AS and vulnerability for anxiety psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1131-1155
Number of pages25
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
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, and by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (MH067572) awarded to Dr. Weems.


  • Anxiety disorders
  • Anxiety sensitivity
  • Taxometrics
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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