Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 603–611 | Cite as

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

  • Kirsten A. Johnson
  • Erin C. Berenz
  • Michael J. Zvolensky
Original Article


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.


Panic Panic attacks Anxiety sensitivity Anxiety Distress tolerance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirsten A. Johnson
    • 1
  • Erin C. Berenz
    • 2
  • Michael J. Zvolensky
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA
  2. 2.Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral GeneticsVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA

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