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Addict Behav. 2008 Feb;33(2):315-27. Epub 2007 Sep 29.

Anxiety sensitivity as a moderator of the association between smoking status and anxiety symptoms and bodily vigilance: replication and extension in a young adult sample.

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University of Mississippi Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Jackson, MS 39216, USA.


The present investigation evaluated the moderational role of the physical concerns dimension of anxiety sensitivity (fear of anxiety and anxiety-related states) in the relation between smoking status and panic-relevant symptoms in a young adult sample (n=222; 123 females; M(age)=22.45 years, SD=8.08). Consistent with prediction, anxiety sensitivity physical concerns moderated the association of smoking status with body vigilance and anxious arousal symptoms, such that greater anxiety sensitivity physical concerns was associated with greater panic symptoms among smokers. The observed effects were evident even after controlling for the variance accounted for by alcohol use problems and gender. Also consistent with prediction, there was no interactive effect apparent for depressive symptoms, providing evidence of explanatory specificity with respect to the anxiety variables examined. Findings are discussed with regard to the role of anxiety sensitivity in the relation between smoking and panic processes.

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