Behavioral validation of the Childhood Anxiety Sensitivity Index in adolescents

Daniel Irwin MacIntyre


This study examined the construct validity of the Childhood Anxiety Sensitivity Index (CASI) in adolescents through the use of a behavioral challenge task. Middle-school aged adolescents completed the CASI as well as self-report measures of state and trait anxiety and subjective fear prior to and immediately following a hyperventilation breathing exercise designed to increase physiological arousal. Results indicate that the CASI was a significant predictor of subjective fear ratings by the adolescents in response to the challenge task, even after controlling for levels of trait anxiety. These findings lend support to the validity of the CASI in adolescent children and suggest that the CASI possesses unique clinical utility relative to measures of trait anxiety. However, results of this study must be viewed cautiously because additional results revealed that the CASI was not a significant predictor of postchallenge state anxiety or postchallenge bodily sensations.