Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Researchers have acknowledged overlap in features of health anxiety (HA) and the anxiety disorders. At present, little research on HA exists, especially in its less severe forms, and few studies have examined HA in older adults. Using self-report surveys, the present study examined how anxiety-related constructs contribute to HA in older and young adults and whether these variables differentially account for HA in both age groups. Results showed that young adults reported higher levels of HA than older adults. For both age groups, anxiety sensitivity accounted for illness likelihood and negative consequences, and intolerance of uncertainty contributed to negative consequences. Reappraisal accounted for illness likelihood in older adults, and moderated the relation between anxiety sensitivity and negative consequences in young adults. Anxiety control moderated the relation between anxiety sensitivity and negative consequences in older adults. Overall, results suggest that anxiety sensitivity and intolerance of uncertainty predispose older and young adults to HA, which is influenced by coping strategies. Implications for the conceptualization of HA in both age groups are discussed.
Gerolimatos, Lindsay, "Contributing Factors to Health Anxiety in Older and Young Adults" (2011). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 4719.