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J Abnorm Psychol. 1996 Aug;105(3):474-9.

Anxiety sensitivity and depression: how are they related?

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Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


Anxiety sensitivity is the fear of anxiety-related bodily sensations, which arises from beliefs that the sensations have harmful somatic, psychological, or social consequences. Elevated anxiety sensitivity, as assessed by the Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI), is associated with panic disorder. The present study investigated the relationship between anxiety sensitivity and depression. Participants were people with panic disorder (n = 52), major depression (n = 46), or both (n = 37). Mean ASI scores of each group were elevated, compared to published norms. Principal components analysis revealed 3 factors of anxiety sensitivity: (a) fear of publicly observable symptoms, (b) fear of loss of cognitive control, and (c) fear of bodily sensations. Factors 1 and 3 were correlated with anxiety-related measures but not with depression-related measures. Conversely, factor 2 was correlated with depression-related measures but not with anxiety-related measures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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