The significance of panic-expectancy for individual patterns of avoidance

M. G. Craske*, R. M. Rapee, D. H. Barlow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


The goal of this study was to examine the role of panic-expectancy in patterns of avoidance. Twenty-eight individuals with Panic Disorder with moderate to severe avoidance underwent individualized behavioral testing. Dependent variables were assessed immediately prior to attempting the behavioral test item. They included, in addition to actual levels of reported fear and avoidance, predicted probability of panic, predicted intensity, discomfort and harm from the physical sensations of panic, predicted negtive consequences of panicking, and predicted level of fear tolerance. Number of months since last attempt to approach the behavioral test item was also recorded. The probability of panic and fear tolerance levels were related significantly to avoidance across individuals. The predicted probability of panic was the variable of most significance for within individual patterns of avoidance, although ratings of the physical symptoms of panic and fear tolerance levels related to some extent. Correlational coefficients suggested that the predicted probability of panic was situationally specific in comparison to the relative stability of predictions relating to negative consequences of panicking. Treatment implications are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-592
Number of pages16
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


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