, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 491-500
Date: 25 May 2011

Test of a Factor Mixture-Based Taxonic-Dimensional Model of Anxiety Sensitivity and Panic Attack Vulnerability among University and Clinical Samples in Mexico City

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The aim of the present study was to evaluate a factor mixture-based taxonic-dimensional model of anxiety sensitivity (AS) (Bernstein et al. Behavior Therapy 41:515-521, 2010), as measured by the ASI-3 (Taylor et al. Psychological Assessment 19:176-188, 2007), in regard to panic attacks, anxiety symptoms, and behavioral impairment among a university sample (N = 150, n females  = 107, M age = 21.3 years, SD = 4.3) and a clinical sample (N = 150, n females  = 102, M age = 39.0 years, SD = 12.0) from Mexico City, Mexico. Findings demonstrated cross-national support for the conceptual and operational utility of the AS taxonic-dimensional hypothesis (Bernstein et al. Journal of Anxiety Disorders 20:1-22, 2007b). Specifically, (1) the FMM-based AS taxon class base rate was significantly greater among the clinical relative to the university sample; (2) risk for panic attacks was significantly greater among the AS taxon class relative to the AS normative class; and (3) continuous individual differences in AS physical and psychological concerns, within the AS taxon class, were associated with level of risk for panic attacks, as well as panic attack severity and anxiety symptom levels. Similar AS taxonic-dimensional effects were observed in relation to degree of behavioral impairment across domains of functioning. The study results are discussed with respect to their implications for better understanding the nature of AS-related cognitive vulnerability for panic and related anxiety psychopathology.

Dr. Bernstein recognizes the funding support from the Israeli Council for Higher Education Yigal Alon Fellowship, the European Union FP-7 Marie Curie Fellowship International Reintegration Grant, the National Institutes of Health Clinical LRP, and the Rothschild-Caesarea Foundation’s Returning Scientists Project at the University of Haifa.