, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 177-184
Date: 22 Jun 2006

Extending an Anxiety Sensitivity Model of Uncued Panic Attack Frequency and Symptom Severity: The Role of Emotion Dysregulation

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Abstract

Models of panic disorder are primarily cognitive in nature, and the role of emotion regulation has not been extensively examined. This study investigates the extent to which emotion dysregulation predicts uncued panic attack frequency and symptom severity above and beyond anxiety sensitivity (AS). Participants were 77 undergraduate students reporting a recent history of uncued panic attacks. Emotion dysregulation was not found to significantly predict past year panic attack frequency above and beyond AS dimensions (fear of respiratory symptoms, publicly observable anxiety reactions, cardiovascular symptoms, and cognitive dyscontrol). Fear of respiratory symptoms emerged as the only significant predictor of panic attack frequency. However, emotion dysregulation did significantly predict panic symptom severity above and beyond AS dimensions. Results offer preliminary evidence of the differential influence of emotion dysregulation and AS on panic-related variables and suggest the need to examine emotion dysregulation as it pertains to the development and maintenance of panic-related psychopathology.

This research was supported in part by the University of Massachusetts Boston Office of Research and Sponsored Projects Dissertation Support Grant, as well as a dissertation support grant provided by the Department of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Boston to the author. Portions of this study were presented at the 38th annual meeting of the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy in New Orleans, Louisiana (November, 2004). The author wishes to thank Kim L. Gratz, as well as five anonymous reviewers, for their valuable suggestions in the preparation of this manuscript.