Anxiety Sensitivity and Aspects of Alexithymia Are Independently and Uniquely Associated with Posttraumatic Distress

Published In: Journal of traumatic Stress, v. 22, no. 2, Apr. 2009, p. 131-138

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2008

by Marc Zahradnik, Sherry Stewart, Grant N. Marshall, Terry L. Schell, Lisa H. Jaycox

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Using a sample of adult survivors of physical trauma requiring hospitalization (N = 677), the authors examined the relationship of aspects of alexithymia and anxiety sensitivity to symptoms of posttraumatic distress (PTD). At the bivariate level, both aspects of alexithymia and anxiety sensitivity were positively associated with acute PTD symptomatology, but anxiety sensitivity was more strongly related to PTD symptoms. At the multivariate level, both anxiety sensitivity and aspects of alexithymia made unique and independent contributions to both total PTD symptoms and the majority of PTD symptom clusters. At the facet level, anxiety sensitivity-physical concerns and anxiety sensitivity-psychological concerns, and the alexithymic dimension of difficulty identifying feelings, were uniquely associated with acute PTD symptoms. Findings are discussed in terms of potential clinical implications.

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