Specificity of emotional maintenance processes among contamination fears and blood-injection-injury fears

Josh M. Cisler, Bunmi O. Olatunji, Craig N. Sawchuk, Jeffrey M. Lohr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research evidence consistently demonstrates a relation between disgust and anxiety-related pathology. Despite ample evidence implicating a functional role of disgust in anxiety, limited research has focused on the process by which disgust influences anxiety. Recent evidence indicates that fear of responding with disgust predicts contamination fears, thus elucidating a process by which disgust contributes to contamination fears. In the current study, we tested whether fear of responding with disgust is specific to contamination fears or generalizes to blood-injection-injury (BII) fears. Undergraduate psychology students (N = 259) completed measures of anxiety sensitivity (AS), trait anxiety, disgust, contamination fears, and BII fears. Data analysis revealed main effects of both AS and disgust in predicting both contamination and BII fears. The interaction between AS and disgust (i.e., being fearful of responding with disgust), however, predicted only contamination fears and not BII fears. The results suggest that fear of responding with disgust is a unique maintenance process specific to contamination fears. Theoretical and clinical implications for both contamination and BII fears are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)915-923
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of anxiety disorders
Volume22
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2008

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Anxiety sensitivity
  • Blood-injection-injury
  • Contamination fears
  • Disgust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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