ANXIETY SENSITIVITY, BEHAVIORAL INHIBITION, AND COGNITIVE BIASES AS RISK FACTORS FOR ANXIETY: CUMULATIVE, INCREMENTAL, AND MEDIATED INFLUENCES

Open Access
Author:
Viana, Andres G.
Graduate Program:
Psychology
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
June 10, 2010
Committee Members:
  • Brian A Rabian, Dissertation Advisor
  • Brian A Rabian, Committee Chair
  • Karen Linn Bierman, Committee Member
  • Kristin Buss, Committee Member
  • Mark T Greenberg, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • anxiety
  • cognitive biases
  • risk factors
  • temperament
  • anxiety sensitivity
  • behavioral inhibition
Abstract:
The present study aimed to advance understanding of the cumulative, incremental, and mediated influences of anxiety sensitivity, behavioral inhibition, and interpretive and judgment biases on anxiety outcomes. Cumulative and multiple-risk factor models, as well as direct and indirect pathways linking anxiety sensitivity and behavioral inhibition with anxiety outcomes, were examined in 862 emerging adults. Exploratory cluster analyses were also performed in an effort to identify subgroups of participants with different constellations of risk. The cumulative and multiple-risk factor models significantly predicted anxiety outcomes, although the statistical prediction offered by the latter model was superior. Additionally, variability in each risk factor significantly predicted anxiety outcomes after controlling for the total number of risks, supporting the value of the content of risk to the prediction of anxiety outcomes. Structural equation modeling revealed that interpretive and judgment biases partially mediated pathways linking anxiety sensitivity and behavioral inhibition with anxiety outcomes. Anxiety sensitivity and behavioral inhibition were also directly linked with anxiety outcomes. Results were similar for males and females. Finally, cluster analyses revealed four clusters with varying combinations of risk and somewhat different levels of anxiety. Findings, implications for intervention, and limitations are discussed.