The Investigation of Anxiety Sensitivity and Its Relationship with Attachment Among A College Population

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Margentina, Samantha J.
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Western Illinois University
The prevalence of anxiety has led to the investigation of anxiety sensitivity as a predictor of future psychopathologies. This notion has fueled an examination of a: relationship between attachment styles and anxiety sensitivity in a sample of 76 college students from the Western Illinois University population. The Experiences in Close Relationship-revised (ECR-R; Fraley, Waller & Brennan, 2000) was used to categorize participants into four attachment styles: secure, fearful, preoccupied, and dismissive. These categories were validated by the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment scale (IPP A; Armsden & Greenberg, 1989). Anxiety Sensitivity was evaluated by the Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI, Peterson & Reiss, 1992) and was validated by the State Trait Anxiety Inventory-State and Trait scales (ST AI-T; Spielberger, et al., 1983). Lastly, the Panic Disorder Severity Scale (POSS; Shear, et al, 1997) was implemented to explore participants that may have a vulnerability to acquiring Panic Disorder in the future. Results in this study supported the hypothesis that individuals that are fearful or preoccupied in attachment had higher levels of anxiety sensitivity than individuals in secure and dismissive attachment. Lastly, the Panic Disorder Severity Scale highlighted those individuals with high anxiety sensitivity as individuals that may be at risk for psychopathologies.
Honors Undergraduate Thesis; Department of Psychology