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The influence of anxiety sensitivity, & personality on social anxiety symptoms

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A growing research base supports the separate and distinct role of Anxiety Sensitivity (AS) in the etiology of anxiety disorders. AS is a belief that experiencing anxiety will cause negative consequences cognitively, psychologically, and physically. There is an interest in understanding how well transdiagnostic factors such as Anxiety Sensitivity can identify different anxiety disorders. This study examined the role of anxiety sensitivity as measured by the Anxiety Sensitivity Index- 3 (ASI-3; Taylor et al., 2007) in relation to social anxiety symptoms using two different measures: Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SIAS; Mattick & Clarke, 1989) and the Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation (BFNE, Leary, 1983). One hundred ninety-eight participants completed self-report measures assessing anxiety sensitivity, trait anxiety, positive and negative affect and social anxiety symptoms. Regression analyses results showed that the ASI-3 Social Concerns factor significantly estimated both BFNE and SIAS symptoms. Trait anxiety and positive and negative affect were differentially effective in estimating BFNE and SIAS symptoms. Seven variables accounted for 50% of the variance in self-reported social anxiety symptoms. These findings provide insight into the etiology of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) and support the transdiagnostic value and incremental validity of the ASI-3 in predicting social anxiety symptoms.

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Correspondence to Robert C. Intrieri.

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Author A declares that she has no conflict of interest. Author B declares he is an Associate Editor for Current Psychology.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent: Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Brooke, C.M., Intrieri, R.C. The influence of anxiety sensitivity, & personality on social anxiety symptoms. Curr Psychol 42, 9249–9260 (2023).

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