Investigating invariance in the factorial structure of the anxiety sensitivity index across adult men and women

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Abstract

The Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI; Peterson & Reiss, 1992) is one of the most widely used measures of the fear of anxiety-related sensations. Important gender differences also seem to exist in that women report higher levels of anxiety sensitivity than men. The primary objective of this study was to determine whether an equivalent factorial structure exists for the ASI among nonclinical adult men and women. In Study 1 (568 women; 251 men), the 2-factor (Fear of Cardiopulmonary Sensations and Fear of Mental Catastrophe), 10-item version of the ASI reported by Schmidt and Joiner (2002) provided the best fit to the data for both men and women. Using this model, Study 2 (503 women, 255 men) examined whether the factorial structure of the 10-item ASI was invariant for men and women. Noninvariance was found for one item on the Fear of Mental Catastrophe subscale (Item 15 = "When I am nervous, I worry that I might be mentally ill"). The implications of this are that this item should be dropped if an equivalent factor structure is to be assumed between men and women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-160
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Volume83
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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