Learning experiences and anxiety sensitivity in normal adolescents

P.E.H.M. Muris*, H.L.G.J. Merckelbach, C.M.G. Meesters

*Corresponding author for this work

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The present study examined the relationships between learning experiences with respect to somatic symptoms and levels of anxiety sensitivity in youths. Fifty-two normal adolescents aged 12 to 14 years were interviewed about their learning experiences with anxiety-related and nonanxiety-related somatic symptoms and completed the Childhood Anxiety Sensitivity Index. Results showed that informational learning to some extent contributed to adolescents' anxiety sensitivity levels. That is, parents' transmission of the idea that somatic symptoms might be dangerous was significantly associated with levels of anxiety sensitivity. Other learning experiences such as parental reinforcement or observational learning were not found to be related to anxiety sensitivity. It can be concluded that learning experiences seem to play a small but significant role in the development of high levels of anxiety sensitivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-283
JournalJournal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001

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