Avoidance-oriented coping as a predictor of panic-related distress: A test using biological challenge

Adam P. Spira, Michael J. Zvolensky, Georg H. Eifert, Matthew T. Feldner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The present experimental psychopathology study sought to investigate the extent to which pre-experimental levels of avoidance-oriented coping predict anxious and fearful responding during acute physical stress, relative to other theoretically relevant variables. Participants included 80 individuals with no known history of psychological or physical health problems. Dependent measures include self-reported anxiety, DSM-IV panic symptoms, and physiological indices of heart rate and skin conductance. Consistent with our hypotheses, the tendency to engage in avoidance-oriented coping predicted increased physical panic symptoms and self-reported anxiety elicited by biological challenge, relative to specific anxiety sensitivity (AS) dimensions. These findings are discussed in terms of how specific types of coping are associated with prototypical indices of panic distress, with implications for forwarding future work on emotional regulation in panic disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-323
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Avoidance-oriented coping
  • DSM-IV panic symptoms
  • Psychopathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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