Department

Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work

2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work

Dissertation

Advisors

Nathaniel William Nelson; Tatyana Ramirez

Abstract

Anxiety sensitivity (AS) is a construct describing the specific fear of the sensations and symptoms of anxiety. Although this type of anxiety has received considerable empirical attention over the past few decades, the impact of AS on broad cognitive testing performance in a clinical sample has yet to be explored. The current investigation collected measures of AS using the Anxiety Sensitivity Index-3 (ASI-3) along with a range of cognitive testing scores and a depression measure from a clinical sample of 38 outpatients and inpatients presenting with diverse psychiatric diagnoses undergoing a neuropsychological examination at a large county hospital in Minnesota. Although AS was not significantly correlated with the majority of cognitive test variables, higher AS was found to correlate negatively with working memory performance (r = -.37, p = .025), even when controlling for depressive symptoms and education level. Likewise, moderate correlations were also found for working memory performance and physical concerns (r = -.35, p = .035) and social concerns (r = -.33, p = .048) associated with AS. General AS scores were also found to be correlated with the depressive symptomatology measure (r = .50, p = .001). Implications of the current findings and considerations for future research are discussed.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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