Anxiety Sensitivity and PTSD Symptom Severity Are Reciprocally Related

Evidence from a Longitudinal Study of Physical Trauma Survivors

Published in: Journal of Abnormal Psychology, v. 119, no. 1, Feb. 2010, p. 143-150

Posted on RAND.org on February 01, 2010

by Grant N. Marshall, Jeremy N. V. Miles, Sherry Stewart

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Cross-lagged panel analysis of interview data collected from survivors of traumatic physical injury (N = 677) was used to examine the temporal relationship between anxiety sensitivity and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity. The 2 constructs were assessed at 3 time points: within days of physical injury, at 6-month follow-up, and at 12-month follow-up. Results indicated that anxiety sensitivity and PTSD symptom severity were reciprocally related such that anxiety sensitivity predicted subsequent PTSD symptom severity, and symptom severity predicted later anxiety sensitivity. Findings have both theoretical and clinical implications.

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