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Behav Res Ther. 2001 Nov;39(11):1357-68.

The relationship between anxiety sensitivity and fear of pain in healthy adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Medical, Clinical, and Experimental Psychology, Maastricht University, The Netherlands. p.muris@dep.unimaas.nl


The present study investigated the relationship between anxiety sensitivity and fear of pain in a large group of healthy adolescents (N=200). Participants completed the childhood anxiety sensitivity index for children-revised, a questionnaire measuring four specific domains of anxiety sensitivity: fear of cardiovascular symptoms, fear of respiratory symptoms, fear of cognitive dyscontrol, and fear of publicly observable anxiety symptoms, and a simplified version of the pain anxiety symptoms scale, a self-report instrument assessing pain-related anxiety and avoidance (i.e. fear of pain). In line with previous research in adult populations, it was found that anxiety sensitivity is substantially and positively related to fear of pain. Even when controlling for other potential predictors of fear of pain (i.e. pain symptoms, other somatization symptoms, trait anxiety, and panic disorder symptoms), anxiety sensitivity appeared to declare a unique proportion of the variance in pain anxiety symptoms.

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