Specific phobias

Thomas G. Adams, Craig N. Sawchuk, Joshua M. Cisler, Jeffrey M. Lohr, Bunmi O. Olatunji

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The DSM-5 allows for subtyping of specific phobias, including: (1) animal (2) natural environment, (3) blood-injection-injury (BII), and (4) situational. Several studies have outlined prevalences of specific fears, subtypes of specific phobias, or individual types of specific phobia. There are both significant age and sex effects in the prevalence of specific phobia. Less research has focused on functional impairments and quality of life in specific phobias than the other anxiety disorders. Several theorists have posited that maladaptive cognitions, or schemas, operate as vulnerabilities for and, perhaps, give rise to the development of specific fears and phobias. There is a growing literature that has identified sequelae of disgust-mediated phenomena as unique mediators of BII and some small animal fears and phobias. Based on the available data, the likelihood of specific phobia appears to be greater given the presence of another anxiety disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Wiley Handbook of Anxiety Disorders
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781118775349
ISBN (Print)9781118775356
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Animal phobia
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Blood-injection-injury (BII) phobia
  • DSM-5
  • Maladaptive cognitions
  • Natural environment phobia
  • Situational phobia
  • Specific phobias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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