Examining the Ethnoracial Invariance of a Bifactor Model of Anxiety Sensitivity and the Incremental Validity of the Physical Domain-Specific Factor in a Primary-Care Patient Sample

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Abstract

There is growing support for a bifactor conceptualization of the Anxiety Sensitivity Index–3 (ASI-3; Taylor et al., 2007), consisting of a General factor and 3 domain-specific factors (i.e., Physical, Cognitive, Social). Earlier studies supporting a bifactor model of the ASI-3 used samples that consisted of predominantly White respondents. In addition, extant research has yet to support the incremental validity of the Physical domain-specific factor while controlling for the General factor. The present study is an examination of a bifactor model of the ASI-3 and the measurement invariance of that model among an ethnoracially diverse sample of primary-care patients (N = 533). Results from multiple-group confirmatory factor analysis supported the configural and metric/scalar invariance of the bifactor model of the ASI-3 across self-identifying Black, Latino, and White respondents. The Physical domain-specific factor accounted for unique variance in an index of health anxiety beyond the General factor. These results provide support for the generalizability of a bifactor model of the ASI-3 across 3 ethnoracial groups, as well as indication of the incremental explanatory power of the Physical domain-specific factor. Study implications are discussed.

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