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Anxiety Sensitivity and Psychological Vulnerability

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Technical Report

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Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States

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To date, primary research in the area of panic disorder and similar anxiety pathology has been laboratory-based. A wealth of primary research in panic disorder in particular has been gleaned from laboratory research using biological challenge paradigms by which panic is experimentally provoked. The present work reviews the knowledge based gleaned from the biological challenge paradigm and the competing and often agreeing models of panic and anxiety, narrowing to a focus on Reiss 1991 expectancy theory. Within expectancy theory, emphasis is placed upon the role of anxiety sensitivity. Expectancy theory proposes that anxiety sensitivity may serve as a premorbid risk factor for the development of anxiety pathology Reiss, 1991. Next, this work presents a series of five reports investigating the role of anxiety sensitivity and psychological vulnerability in a number of areas. In addition, the concept of psychological vulnerability factors in general is explored, and other possible risk factors for anxiety pathology, depression, disability, and impairment are examined.

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