Hierarchical model of vulnerabilities for anxiety: Replication and extension with a clinical sample

Peter J. Norton, Kathryn A. Sexton, John R. Walker, G. Ron Norton

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105 Citations (Scopus)


This study served to replicate and extend our previously obtained hierarchical model of the relationships among general anxiety vulnerabilities, specific anxiety vulnerabilities and specific anxiety manifestations including panic symptoms, health anxiety, obsessive-compulsive symptoms and worry. Questionnaires assessing these variables, as well as positive affectivity and depressiveness, were administered to 125 outpatients seeking treatment for panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder or major depressive disorder. The results, using a clinical sample, were highly consistent with the hierarchical model obtained in the previous study using a student sample. A more elaborate model, based on published theoretical and empirical evidence, was identified and tested, and similar results were obtained. Negative affectivity had expected direct positive effects on all of the specific anxiety and depression manifestations, with the exception of health anxiety, which showed a negative relationship, and OCD symptoms, which showed no relationship. Positive affectivity was found to be a specific risk factor for depression, while intolerance of uncertainty was found to be a specific risk factor for worry and depression. Finally, anxiety sensitivity appears to be a significant risk factor for panic and health anxiety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-63
Number of pages14
JournalCognitive Behaviour Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Etiological model

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