Article

Unexpected arousal, anxiety sensitivity, and their interaction on CO2-induced panic: Further evidence for the context-sensitivity vulnerability model

Laboratory for the Study of Anxiety Disorders, The University of Texas at Austin, USA.
Journal of anxiety disorders (Impact Factor: 2.68). 06/2011; 25(5):645-53. DOI: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2011.02.005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The present experiment tested several predictions derived from the context-sensitivity vulnerability model of panic. Participants (N=79) scoring either high or low in anxiety sensitivity (AS) and with no history of unexpected panic were randomly assigned to one of two instructional sets: expected arousal (EA) or expected relaxation (ER). All participants were administered inhalation of room air and 35% CO(2) in a counterbalanced order. Consistent with theoretical predictions, High-AS participants who received ER instructions showed greater emotional responding compared to High-AS participants who received EA instructions, while instructional set did not affect responding among Low-AS participants. Panic attacks were observed in 52% of the High-AS-ER group compared to 17%, 5%, and 5% in the High-AS-EA, Low-AS-ER, and Low-AS-EA groups respectively. These findings are consistent with the theory's assertion that dispositional tendencies, such as anxiety sensitivity potentiate the panicogenic effects of threat-relevant context variables.

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