Evaluating latent discontinuity in cognitive vulnerability to panic: A taxometric investigation

Norman B. Schmidt, Roman Kotov, Darin R. Lerew, Thomas E. Joiner, Nicholas S. Ialongo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Taxometrics is a statistical tool that can be used to discern psychopathological categories from continua. In this study, taxometric analyses were conducted to determine whether a psychopathological category (or taxon) underlies a cognitive vulnerability to panic (i.e., fear of anxiety symptoms and body vigilance). The construct was operationalized with 3 variables: the Anxiety Sensitivity Index, the Body Sensations Questionnaire, and the Body Vigilance Scale. The test was performed in a large nonclinical sample (N = 1,224). Analyses and consistency tests support the taxonic conjecture for the existence of a latent cognitive vulnerability taxon with a base rate of about 18% in this population. Moreover, tests of the taxon's utility indicated that taxon membership has incremental validity in predicting future panic attacks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)673-690
Number of pages18
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Volume29
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2005

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive vulnerability
  • Panic
  • Taxometrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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