Relationship between anxiety sensitivity and post-traumatic stress symptoms in trauma-exposed children and adolescents: a meta-analysis

Henry Tak Shing Chiu, Angel Hiu Tung Chan, Richard Meiser-Stedman

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Introduction: Given the high rate of trauma exposure among children and adolescents, it is important to understand the risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Anxiety sensitivity has been implicated in multiple anxiety disorders, and an emerging evidence base has explored the relationship between this construct and PTSD. The present review investigated the size of the relationship between anxiety sensitivity and PTSD symptoms among children and adolescents exposed to trauma.

Method: A systematic search on multiple electronic databases (MEDLINE, PsycINFO, CINAHL and PTSDpubs) returned a total of 2916 records, among which six (n = 1331) met study inclusion criteria and were included in our random effects meta-analysis.

Results: Our results indicated a large effect size (r = .56, 95% CI = 0.47 − 0.64) for the relationship between anxiety sensitivity and PTSD symptoms; there was significant between-study heterogeneity.

Conclusion: This supported current cognitive models of anxiety and PTSD. Clinical implications, strengths and limitations of the review were discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371–381
Number of pages11
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Early online date21 Sep 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

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