Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 469–481 | Cite as

Cognitive Risk Factors to the Development of Anxiety and Depressive Disorders in Adolescents



This exploratory study examines cognitive risk factors, anxiety sensitivity, and positive and negative affect, as related to the development of anxiety and depression. In a mailed survey, adolescents completed the Child Anxiety Sensitivity Index and the Positive and Negative Affectivity Scale. Previous research utilized the broad and unified variable of anxiety sensitivity as a predictor of anxiety. In this study, we separate and examine the four specific factors of anxiety sensitivity: mental incapacitation concerns, social concerns, disease concerns, and unsteady concerns, and relate it to specific anxiety disorders and depression. Results indicate good convergent validity and improved divergent validity when utilizing the four factors of anxiety sensitivity as compared to using it as one construct. Results also suggest: (1) OCD and GAD share numerous similarities and (2) the importance of the role of negative affectivity in anxiety and depression. Being aware of the components of anxiety sensitivity and how they relate to specific anxiety disorders can help a social worker when rendering a diagnosis.


Risk factors Anxiety Depression Cognitive Adolescents Anxiety sensitivity 


  1. Austin, A. A., & Chorpita, B. (2004). Temperament, anxiety, and depression: Comparisons across five ethnic groups of children. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 33, 216–226. doi: 10.1207/s15374424jccp3302_2.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Calamari, J., Hale, L., Heffelfinger, S., Janeck, S., Lau, J., Weerts, M., et al. (2001). Relations between anxiety sensitivity and panic symptoms in nonreferred children and adolescents. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 32, 117–136. doi: 10.1016/S0005-7916(01)00026-X.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chorpita, B. F. (2002). The tripartite model and dimensions of anxiety and depression: An examination of structure in a large school sample. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 30, 177–190. doi: 10.1023/A:1014709417132.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chorpita, B., & Daleiden, E. (2002). Tripartite dimensions of emotion in child clinical sample: Measurement strategies and implications for clinical utility. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 70, 1150–1160. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.70.5.1150.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chorpita, B. F., Plummer, C., & Moffitt, C. E. (2000a). Relations of tripartite dimensions of emotion to childhood anxiety and mood disorders. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 28, 299–310. doi: 10.1023/A:1005152505888.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chorpita, B. F., Yim, L., Moffitt, C., Umemoto, L. A., & Frances, S. E. (2000b). Assessment of symptoms of DSM-IV anxiety and depression in children: A revised child anxiety and depression scale. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 38, 835–855. doi: 10.1016/S0005-7967(99)00130-8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Clark, L. A., & Watson, D. (1991). Tripartite model of anxiety and depression: Psychometric evidence and taxonomic implications. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 100, 316–336. doi: 10.1037/0021-843X.100.3.316.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cohan, S., Hami, S., & Stein, M. (2004, March). Childhood maltreatment and anxiety sensitivity in early adulthood. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the ADAA, Miami, FL.Google Scholar
  9. Cohen, J., Cohen, P., West, S. G., & Aiken, L. (2003). Applied multiple regression/correlation analyses for the behavioral sciences (3rd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  10. Costello, E. J., Foley, D., & Angold, A. (2006). 10-year research update review: The epidemiology of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders: II. Developmental epidemiology. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 45, 8–34. doi: 10.1097/01.chi.0000184929.41423.c0.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Costello, E. J., Mustillo, S., Erkanli, A., Keeler, G., & Angold, A. (2003). Prevalence and development of psychiatric disorders in childhood and adolescence. Archives of General Psychiatry, 60, 837–844. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.60.8.837.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Greenberg, P. E., Sisitsky, T., Kessler, R. C., Finkelstein, S. N., Berndt, E. R., Davidson, J. R. T., et al. (1999). The economic burden of anxiety disorders in the 1990s. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 60, 427–435.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Greenberg, P. E., Stiglin, L. E., Finkelstein, S. N., & Berndt, E. R. (1993). The economic burden of depression in 1990. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 54, 405–418.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Hayward, C., Killen, J., Kraemer, H., & Taylor, C. (2000). Predictors of panic attacks in adolescents. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 39, 207–214. doi: 10.1097/00004583-200002000-00021.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hazen, A., Walker, J., & Eldridge, G. (1996). Anxiety sensitivity and treatment outcome in panic disorder. Anxiety, 2, 34–39. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1522-7154(1996)2:1<34::AID-ANXI5>3.0.CO;2-D.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Huang, L., Stroul, B., Friedman, R., Mrazek, P., Friesen, B., Pires, S., et al. (2005). Transforming mental health care for children and their families. The American Psychologist, 60, 615–627. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.60.6.615.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jacques, H., & Mash, E. (2004). A test of the tripartite model of anxiety and depression in elementary high school boys and girls. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 32, 13–26. doi: 10.1023/B:JACP.0000007577.38802.18.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Joiner, T., Schmidt, N., Schmidt, K., Laurent, J., Catanzaro, S., Perez, M., et al. (2002). Anxiety sensitivity as a specific and unique marker of anxieties symptoms in youth psychiatric inpatients. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 30, 167–176. doi: 10.1023/A:1014757300294.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kearney, C., Albano, A., Eisen, A., Allan, W., & Barlow, D. (1997). The phenomenology of panic disorder in youngsters: An empirical study of a clinical sample. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 11, 49–62. doi: 10.1016/S0887-6185(96)00034-5.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kessler, R. C., & Walters, E. E. (1998). Epidemiology of DSM-III-R major depression and minor depression among adolescents and young adults in the national comorbidity survey. Depression and Anxiety, 7, 3–14. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1520-6394(1998)7:1<3::AID-DA2>3.0.CO;2-F.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lambert, S., McCreary, B., Joiner, T., Schmidt, N., & Ialongo, N. (2004). Structure of anxiety and depression in urban youth: An examination of the tripartite model. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 72, 904–908. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.72.5.904.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Last, C., & Perrin, S. (1993). Anxiety disorders in African-American and White children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 21, 153–164. doi: 10.1007/BF00911313.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Laurent, J., Catanzaro, S., Joiner, T., Rudolph, K., Potter, K., Lambert, S., et al. (1999). A measure of positive and negative affect for children: Scale development and preliminary validation. Psychological Assessment, 11, 326–338. doi: 10.1037/1040-3590.11.3.326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lonigan, C. J., Phillips, B. M., & Hooe, E. (2003). Relations of positive and negative affectivity to anxiety and depression in children: Evidence from a latent variable longitudinal study. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 71, 465–481. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.71.3.465.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mannuzza, S., Klein, R., Moulton, J., Scarfone, N., Malloy, P., Vosburg, S., et al. (2002). Anxiety sensitivity among children of parents with anxiety disorders: A controlled high-risk study. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 16, 135–148. doi: 10.1016/S0887-6185(01)00095-0.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Meyers, L. S., Gamst, G., & Guarino, A. J. (2006). Applied multivariate research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
  27. Muris, P. (2002). An expanded childhood anxiety sensitivity index: Its factor structure, reliability, and validity in a non-clinical adolescent sample. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 40, 299–311. doi: 10.1016/S0005-7967(00)00112-1.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Muris, P., Schmidt, H., Merckelbach, H., & Schouten, E. (2001). Anxiety sensitivity in adolescents: Factor structure and relationship to trait anxiety and symptoms of anxiety disorders and depression. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 39, 89–100. doi: 10.1016/S0005-7967(99)00179-5.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rector, N., Szacun-Shimizu, K., & Marcus, M. (2004, March). Anxiety sensitivity across the anxiety disorders spectrum. Poster presented at the Anxiety Disorders Association of American Annual Conference, Miami, Florida.Google Scholar
  30. Reiss, S. (1991). Expectancy model of fear, anxiety and panic. Clinical Psychology Review, 11, 141–153. doi: 10.1016/0272-7358(91)90092-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Reiss, S., & McNally, R. (1985). The expectancy model of fear. In S. Reiss & R. R. Bootzin (Eds.), Theoretical issues in behavior therapy (pp. 107–122). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  32. Roberts, R. E., Roberts, C. R., & Xing, Y. (2006). Rates of DSM-IV psychiatric disorders among adolescents in a large metropolitan area. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 41, 959–967. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2006.09.006.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Scher, C., & Stein, M. (2003). Developmental antecedents of anxiety sensitivity. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 17, 253–269. doi: 10.1016/S0887-6185(02)00202-5.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Silverman, W. K., Fleisig, W., Rabian, B., & Peterson, R. (1991). The childhood anxiety sensitivity index. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 20, 162–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Silverman, W. K., Ginsburg, G., & Goedhart, A. (1999). Factor structure of the childhood anxiety sensitivity index. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 37, 903–917. doi: 10.1016/S0005-7967(98)00189-2.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Silverman, W. K., Goedhart, A. W., Barrett, P., & Turner, C. (2003). The facets of anxiety sensitivity represented in the childhood anxiety sensitivity index: Confirmatory analyses of factor models from past studies. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 112, 364–374. doi: 10.1037/0021-843X.112.3.364.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Watt, M., Stewart, S., & Cox, B. (1998). A retrospective study of the learning history origins of anxiety sensitivity. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 36, 505–525. doi: 10.1016/S0005-7967(97)10029-8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Weems, C., Hayward, C., Killen, J., & Taylor, C. (2002). A longitudinal investigation of anxiety sensitive in adolescence. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 111, 471–477. doi: 10.1037/0021-843X.111.3.471.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Weisz, J. R., Sandler, I. N., Durlak, J. A., & Anton, B. S. (2005). Promoting and protecting youth mental health through evidence-based prevention and treatment. The American Psychologist, 60, 628–648. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.60.6.628.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Zinbarg, R., Barlow, D., & Brown, T. (1997). Hierarchical structure and general factor saturation of the anxiety sensitivity index. Psychological Assessment, 9, 277–284. doi: 10.1037/1040-3590.9.3.277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Social WorkThe University of TennesseeMemphisUSA

Personalised recommendations