The structure of emotional and cognitive anxiety symptoms

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A sample of 327 patients with primary panic disorder or social phobia completed a questionnaire comprising 77 emotional and cognitive anxiety symptoms from which 12 index scales were constructed. Explorative factor analysis yielded two factors, but confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the factor solution was not invariant across diagnoses. Nevertheless, the two-factor structures fitting data from patients with panic disorder and social phobia, respectively, had similarities in content. The first factor, emotions and cognitive-social concerns, comprised emotional expressions (sadness, fear, and anger), cognitions about cognitive dysfunction (difficulty concentrating, confusion, and loss of control) and social phobic cognitions. It was positively correlated with severity of bodily anxiety symptoms and with the neuroticism personality trait. The second factor, fear of physical sensations, was positively correlated with a cardio-respiratory dimension of bodily anxiety symptoms in panic disorder, lending support to the hypothesis of specific threat-relevant links between bodily symptoms and catastrophic cognitions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)600-8
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ID: 12387333