Anxiety Sensitivity and Emotional Disorders: Psychometric Studies and Their Theoretical Implications
Brian J. Cox Sharon C. Borger Murray W. Enns University of Manitoba
The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview and commentary concerning the relationship between anxiety sensitivity (AS) and emotional disorders. We do this in large part by documenting studies that have used the Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI) in various clinical samples. We also document several studies that have compared the ASI to different measures of psychopathology in clinical and nonclinical samples. Throughout the chapter, we attempt to understand the mechanisms responsible for observed relations between AS and emotional disturbances. As part of this task, we critically examine the nature of the AS construct and the ASI. Where appropriate we refer to results obtained from a large college student data set that is currently being prepared for publication submission. These results have only appeared previously as different conference presentations ( Borger, Cox, Fuentes, & Ross, 1996; Cox, 1997; Cox, Fuentes, Ross, Borger, & Taylor, 1996; Cox, Taylor, Borger, Fuentes, & Ross, 1996). Disorder is treated in a broad sense in this chapter. The recent editions of the DSM serve as the standard in our discussion, but other types of maladaptive psychological functioning are also discussed.
In regard to clinical phenomena, Reiss ( 1991) proposed that AS is a predisposing personality factor in the development of anxiety disorders. Reiss also