Predictors of agoraphobic avoidance

Ronald M. Rapee*, Elizabeth Murrell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Eighty-eight patients suffering panic disorder with agoraphobia and reporting at least one unexpected panic attack in the past month were sent questionnaires designed to examine some of the factors which may be associated with their avoidance. The subjects were divided into three groups based on their degree of avoidance: minimal avoidance, moderate avoidance, and marked avoidance. There were a number of differences between the groups which appeared to be reducible, on face validity, to two basic features. First, patients with greater avoidance were more likely to perceive influences and triggers for their panic attacks, whereas those with less avoidance appeared more likely to believe that their attacks were independent of any external factors. Second, the degree of avoidance seemed to be related to scales measuring social anxiety, introversion, and unassertiveness. The data are discussed with relation to a theory of avoidance behavior, and further, more specific research is encouraged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-217
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


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