ANXIETY SENSITIVITY TAXON AND TRAUMA: DISCRIMINANT ASSOCIATIONS FOR POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS AND PANIC SYMPTOMATOLOGY AMONG YOUNG ADULTS


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Abstract

The present investigation examined whether the anxiety sensitivity (AS) taxon interacts with theoretically relevant traumatic types of aversive life events to show discriminant (concurrent) associations with posttraumatic stress symptoms, but not panic attacks or bodily vigilance among young adults. The interaction between the AS Taxon Scale and trauma exposure accounted for significant variance above and beyond negative affectivity and each of the main effects in terms of a posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom-severity criterion variable, but not for posttraumatic-related thoughts and beliefs or either panic-relevant criterion variable. Thus, results suggest that although the AS taxon may function as a common cognitive diathesis for PTSD and panic outcomes, the AS taxon coupled with traumatic life events may confer emotional vulnerability that is specific to PTSD symptoms. These findings are discussed in terms of theoretical and clinical implications for PTSD and panic vulnerability.

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