Anxiety sensitivity (AS), the fear of one's response to anxiety provoking stimuli, has been correlated with anxiety disorders and has been theorized to be a risk factor in the development of anxiety disorders. Consistent with prior research (Dugas, Gosselin, & Ladouceur, 2001) it was hypothesized that AS and varying levels of worry share an underlying feature of anxiety specifically related to a perceived lack of control over future events, with a resultant emphasis on negative potential outcomes. In this study, the association between AS, overall distress, pathological worry, and non-pathological worry was investigated in a sample of 342 undergraduate volunteers. Results indicated that AS was significantly correlated with the Penn State Worry Questionnaire, the Worry Domain Questionnaire, and the Symptom Checklist 90-Revised. AS was a significant predictor of worry, even after factoring out overall distress, although the incremental amount of explained variance was small. Thus, AS and worry have more in common than distress. We speculate that the common element is a tendency to focus on the uncertainty of the future.
- Anxiety sensitivity
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