Stressful life events, anxiety sensitivity, and internalizing symptoms in adolescents

Citation:

McLaughlin, K. A., & Hatzenbuehler, M. L. (2009). Stressful life events, anxiety sensitivity, and internalizing symptoms in adolescents. Journal of Abnormal Psychology , 118 (3), 659–669.
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Date Published:

aug

Abstract:

Anxiety sensitivity represents a robust risk factor for the development of anxiety symptoms among both adolescents and adults. However, the development of anxiety sensitivity among adolescents remains inadequately understood. In this study, the authors examined the role of stressful life events as a risk factor for the development of elevated anxiety sensitivity. Anxiety sensitivity was then examined in a longitudinal design as a mechanism linking stressful life events to changes in anxiety symptoms. Stressful life events, anxiety sensitivity, and internalizing symptoms were assessed in a diverse community sample of adolescents (N = 1,065) at 3 time points spanning 7 months. The results indicated that stressful life events were longitudinally associated with increases in anxiety sensitivity and that certain types of stressful life events, specifically events related to health and events related to family discord, were differentially predictive of increases in anxiety sensitivity. Moreover, anxiety sensitivity mediated the longitudinal relation between stressful life events and anxiety symptoms. Evidence was also found for the predictive specificity of anxiety sensitivity to symptoms of anxiety but not depression.

Last updated on 10/09/2018