Test of a panic-relevant diathesis-stress model using a taxonic index of anxiety sensitivity.

Amit Bernstein, Ellen W. Leen-Feldner, Roman Kotov, Norman B. Schmidt, Michael J. Zvolensky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Diathesis-stress models have long been cited in conceptualizations of the etiology of clinical disorders (Meehl, 1962; Rosenthal, 1970). These models suggest that specific types of psychopathology arise from a combination of vulnerability factors (diatheses) and life stress (Fowles, 1992). Despite an accumulating body of evidence demonstrating that specific diatheses, in the context of life stress, predict depressive symptomatology (Metalsky, Joiner, Hardin, and Abramson, 1993; Satterfield, Folkman, and Acree, 2002), few attempts have been made to directly test diathesis-stress models of anxiety disorders. Recent research, however, has indicated anxiety sensitivity (AS), defined as the fear of bodily sensations, interacts with life stress to predict panic-related problems (Zvolensky, Kotov, Antipova, and Schmidt, in press; Zvolensky and Schmidt, 2003). Although promising, extant panic-relevant diathesis-stress research has not addressed recently emerging taxometric research indicating that AS may be characterized by an underlying qualitative discontinuity between normal and pathological groups rather than an evenly graded dimension. Such neglect is unfortunate, as failure to accurately conceptualize the latent structure of the diathetic component of the panic-relevant diathesis-stress model may (1) limit the model's construct valid representation of the panic-relevant diathesis-stress phenomenon; and (2) preclude psychopathologists from further elucidating the specific processes underlying panic vulnerability. To begin to address this gap in the literature, the present study sought to test a panic-relevant diathesis-stress model using a taxometrically-derived categorical index of AS. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPanic disorders
Subtitle of host publicationNew research
Editors Augustin J. Sanfelippo
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print) 1594543542
StatePublished - 2006


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