Anxiety sensitivity and PTSD symptom severity are reciprocally related: evidence from a longitudinal study of physical trauma survivors

J Abnorm Psychol. 2010 Feb;119(1):143-50. doi: 10.1037/a0018009.


Cross-lagged panel analysis of interview data collected from survivors of traumatic physical injury (N = 677) was used to examine the temporal relationship between anxiety sensitivity and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity. The 2 constructs were assessed at 3 time points: within days of physical injury, at 6-month follow-up, and at 12-month follow-up. Results indicated that anxiety sensitivity and PTSD symptom severity were reciprocally related such that anxiety sensitivity predicted subsequent PTSD symptom severity, and symptom severity predicted later anxiety sensitivity. Findings have both theoretical and clinical implications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Family Characteristics*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Social Adjustment
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors / psychology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / psychology*