Anxiety sensitivity or interoceptive sensitivity an analysis of feared bodily sensations

Peter J. Norton, Katharine Sears Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The construct of anxiety sensitivity (AS)-the fear of anxiety-related symptoms-has been highly influential in current conceptualizations of anxiety disorders in general, and panic disorder specifically. However, given documented associations between AS and both non-anxiety psychological disorders as well as medical/health conditions, the extent to which measures of AS are assessing a specific fear or anxiety symptoms versus a broader fear of interoceptive or bodily sensations is unclear. Confirmatory factor analysis of data from 373 participants failed to suggest whether fears of anxiety-related symptoms were factorially distinct from fears of non-anxiety-related bodily sensations, although analyses indicated that while fears of anxiety-related symptoms were more closely associated with panic disorder severity than were fears of non-anxiety-related symptoms, both were similarly and strongly associated with hypochondriacal fears. Implications for the construct of AS, and the broader construct of somatic fears, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-37
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychological Assessment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Anxiety sensitivity
  • Hypochondriasis
  • Interoceptive fears
  • Panic disorder

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