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Behav Res Ther. 2010 Aug;48(8):761-9. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2010.05.001. Epub 2010 May 7.

The relationship between anxiety sensitivity and latent symptoms of emotional problems: A structural equation modeling approach.

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Northwestern University, Department of Psychology, 2029 Sheridan Road, Swift Hall 102, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.


A large body of research suggests that common and specific psychopathology dimensions underlie the symptoms that occur within mood and anxiety disorders. As of yet, it is unclear precisely how the facets of Anxiety Sensitivity (AS), or fear of the symptoms of fear and anxiety, relate to these latent factors. Using data from 606 adolescents participating in the baseline phase of a longitudinal study on risk factors for emotional disorders, we modeled the facets of AS as measured by the Anxiety Sensitivity Index-Expanded Form (ASI-X) and related these facets to a hierarchical model of latent symptoms of psychological distress. Results suggest that one facet of AS is associated with a broad General Distress factor underlying symptoms of most emotional disorders while others relate to intermediate-level and conceptually-meaningful narrow factors representing aspects of psychological distress specific to particular emotional disorders.

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