Anxiety sensitivity and negative interpretation biases: Their shared and unique associations with anxiety symptoms

J V Olthuis, S H Stewart, M C Watt, B C Sabourin, Edmund Keogh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Anxiety sensitivity (AS) is a psychological risk factor for anxiety disorders. Negative interpretation biases are a maladaptive form of information-processing also associated with anxiety disorders. The present study explored whether AS and negative interpretation biases make independent contributions to variance in panic and generalized anxiety symptoms and whether particular interpretation bias domains (e.g., of ambiguous arousal sensations) have specific associations with panic and/or generalized anxiety symptoms. Eighty-nine female undergraduates (44 low AS; 45 high AS) completed measures of AS, interpretation biases, and panic and generalized anxiety symptoms. Findings showed that AS and negative interpretation biases both significantly added to the prediction of anxiety symptoms. Negative interpretations of ambiguous arousal sensations were uniquely associated with panic symptoms, while negative interpretations of ambiguous general and social events were uniquely associated with generalized anxiety symptoms. Findings support the conceptual validity of AS and negative interpretation biases and their unique and shared contributions to anxiety symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-342
JournalJournal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012


Cite this