Anxiety sensitivity: Confirmatory evidence for a multidimensional construct
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Anxiety sensitivity is a promising psychological construct in understanding the development of clinical anxiety, particularly panic disorder, and it has received a significant amount of research attention. Since the development of the 16-item Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI), there has been considerable controversy in the literature about whether it should be conceptualized as a unidimensional or multidimensional measure. ASI responses were collected from 216 panic disorder patients and 365 undergraduate students. Various ASI models identified in previous exploratory factor analytic studies were tested using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) with multiple goodness-of-fit indicators. Separate CFA results for both the patient and student data strongly supported the view that the ASI is a multidimensional measure and the four-factor model originally identified by Peterson and Heilbronner (1987, Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 1, 117-121) provided the best fit to the data. It is recommended that the ASI be expanded to better assess the multiple dimensions.
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