Original Article

Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 603-611

Nonclinical Panic Attack History and Anxiety Sensitivity: Testing the Differential Moderating Role of Self-Report and Behavioral Indices of Distress Tolerance

  • Kirsten A. JohnsonAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Vermont
  • , Erin C. BerenzAffiliated withVirginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • , Michael J. ZvolenskyAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Houston Email author 

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Abstract

The present investigation examined the main and interactive effects of a nonclinical panic attack history and two different measures of distress tolerance (DT)—perceived (self-report) and behavioral (breath-holding duration)—in relation to the global and lower-order factors of anxiety sensitivity (AS). Results indicated that lower levels of perceived DT were significantly related to greater levels of global as well as all lower-order AS factors (physical, cognitive, and social concerns); however, lower levels of behavioral DT were not significantly related to the global or lower-order AS factors at the main effect level. The interaction between a nonclinical panic attack history and perceived DT was only significantly related to the AS-cognitive factor. Moreover, the interaction between a nonclinical panic attack history and behavioral DT was only significantly related to the AS-physical factor. The present findings suggest that DT may be an important factor to target among panic-vulnerable populations.

Keywords

Panic Panic attacks Anxiety sensitivity Anxiety Distress tolerance