Attributions of control, anxiety sensitivity, and panic symptoms among adolescents

Golda S. Ginsburg, Sharon F. Lambert, Kelly L. Drake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The present study examined the concurrent and prospective relation between attributions of control, anxiety sensitivity (AS) and panic symptoms among a community sample of African-American adolescents (N = 109; mean age 15.75 years; 57 girls). On two occasions, 6 months apart, participants completed self-report measures of AS and panic symptoms. Two measures of control, one for general situations and another for anxiety-specific situations, were completed at time 1. At time 2, adolescents also completed the Panic Attack Questionnaire and were classified as panickers (i.e., those reporting a spontaneous attack) or nonpanickers. Overall, results indicated that external attributions of control for general and anxiety-specific situations were positively associated with AS and panic symptoms at time 1 but only external attributions of control in anxiety-specific situations were associated with AS and panic symptoms at time 2. Internal attributions of control over anxiety-specific situations for failure, but not success, were associated with higher levels of AS and panic symptoms. Control attributions for anxiety, but not general situations, predicted panic symptoms after levels of AS were controlled. Findings support and extend cognitive theories of panic and suggest further study is needed on anxiety-specific control attributions among youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-763
Number of pages19
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety sensitivity
  • Attributions
  • Panic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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