Anxiety sensitivity and menstrual cycle reactivity: Psychophysiological and self-report differences
ABSTRACT The role of anxiety sensitivity in the etiology and maintenance of various anxiety disorders has received increased attention over the past decade. To date, no studies have empirically addressed the relationship between anxiety sensitivity, physiological reactivity, and self-reports of anxiety symptomatology across the menstrual cycle. In this study, high- and low-anxiety sensitivity women in either the premenstrual or intermenstrual phase of the menstrual cycle completed questionnaires and listened to anxiety and neutral scenes while psychophysiological data were collected. In addition, mood ratings were obtained at baseline and after scene presentations. High anxiety sensitivity sitivity participants scored higher on measures of anxiety, depression, and menstrual distress than low anxiety sensitivity females. Premenstrually, high anxiety sensitivity females exhibited greater skin conductance response frequency and magnitude to the anxiety scenes compared to the other three groups. Similar results were obtained when initial levels of state anxiety and panic history were controlled for statistically. Furthermore, high anxiety sensitivity females reported more anxiety and depressed mood following presentation of anxiety scenes. Implications of these results for the mediation of menstrual cycle timing and anxiety sensitivity hypotheses are discussed.
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ABSTRACT: The relation between menstrual cycle timing, panic attacks, and diagnosis of asthma was explored in this study. Women with or without asthma and with or without a history of panic attacks engaged in a psychophysiological task during either the intermenstrual or premenstrual cycle phase and completed self-report measures of menstrual symptoms and attitudes, general psychological symptoms, and attitudes toward illness. No significant differences were identified for psychological or psychophysiological measures with menstrual cycle phase as a factor. However, women with both asthma and a history of panic attacks reported more general psychological distress than women in the other groups, and more state anxiety than controls. Women in the asthma, asthma and panic, and panic groups reported higher anxiety sensitivity than the control group. After listening to asthma-related scenes, women with asthma exhibited a decrease in peak expiratory air flow, and women with asthma and panic exhibited increased skin conductance response magnitude. Implications for the role of anxiety in lung function are discussed, as well as directions for future research with asthma and anxiety populations.Behaviour Research and Therapy - BEHAV RES THER. 01/2002; 40(1):3-17.
- Radiotherapy and Oncology 05/2011; 99. · 4.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To determine the impact of gender roles, anxiety sensitivity, and somatic concerns on self-reported menstrual distress, two studies were conducted. In the first study using 278 primarily Caucasian college females, anxiety-sensitivity level, not current menstrual cycle phase, influenced reports of menstrual symptom severity and depression. Regardless of cycle phase at the time of self-report, women high in anxiety sensitivity reported significantly more depressed mood, trait anxiety, and retrospective menstrual symptoms. In the second study of 158 primarily Caucasian college females varying in anxiety sensitivity levels, adherence to sex role stereotypes, feminist beliefs, and illness attitudes were examined. Participants also completed measures of general premenstrual, most-recent premenstrual, and current menstrual symptoms. Women high in anxiety sensitivity reported the highest levels of sex-specificity, feminist embeddedness, and illness attitudes, with sex-specificity accounting for significant variance in current menstrual symptoms. Results are discussed within the context of the menstrual reactivity hypothesis, which proposes that beliefs surrounding the menstrual cycle and body sensations expectancies contribute to self-reports of greater menstrual distress. Women high in anxiety sensitivity appear to represent one subgroup vulnerable to menstrual reactivity.Sex Roles 01/2000; 43. · 1.47 Impact Factor