ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 7, Issue 2, 172-189, 2016
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Intolerance of Uncertainty Mediates the Relationship between Panic and the Startle Reflex in Anticipation of Unpredictable Threat

Authors
  Brady Nelson - Stony Brook University
  Huiting Liu - University of Illinois-Chicago
  Casey Sarapas - University of Illinois-Chicago
  Stewart Shankman - University of Illinois-Chicago

Volume 7, Issue 2, 2016, Pages 172-189
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5127/jep.048115

Abstract

The present study examined whether intolerance of uncertainty (IU) was associated with the startle reflex in anticipation of unpredictable threat, and whether IU mediated the relationship between panic and sensitivity to unpredictable threat. This was tested in separate samples of 86 undergraduates with varying panic symptoms and 148 adults with current panic disorder or no lifetime history of an anxiety disorder. Participants completed the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale, which measures cognitive distress (prospective IU) and behavioral inhibition (inhibitory IU) elicited by uncertainty, and a no, predictable, and unpredictable shock startle paradigm. In both samples prospective IU was associated with heightened startle during the unpredictable (but not predictable) condition, and in the clinical sample inhibitory IU was associated with attenuated startle during the unpredictable condition. IU mediated the relationship between panic and startle to unpredictable threat. These results support IU as a potential mechanism linking panic and sensitivity to unpredictable threat. 


Table of Contents
Introduction
Study 1
 Method
  Participants
  Measures
  Stimuli
 Procedure
  Physiological Recording and Processing
  Data Analysis
 Results
  Shock Ratings
  Overall Task Effects
  IU and Startle Potentiation
  Mediational Analyses
 Discussion
Study 2
 Methods
  Participants
  Measures
 Procedure
  Data Analysis
 Results
  Demographics and Clinical Characteristics
  Shock Ratings
  Overall Task Effects
  IU and Startle Potentiation
  Mediational Analyses
 Discussion
General Discussion
Acknowledgements
References

Correspondence to
Dr. Stewart Shankman

Keywords
anxiety; intolerance of uncertainty; panic; startle; unpredictability

Dates
Received 30 Mar 2015; Revised 13 Dec 2015; Accepted 13 Dec 2015; In Press 7 Feb 2016







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