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Delineating physiologic defensive reactivity in the domain of self report: Phenotypic and etiologic structure of dispositional fear
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, Minneapolis MN, USA.
Florida State University, Department of Psychology, Tallahassee FL, USA.
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, Minneapolis MN, USA.
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, Minneapolis MN, USA.
2012 (English)In: Psychological Medicine, ISSN 0033-2917, E-ISSN 1469-8978, Vol. 42, no 6, p. 1305-1320Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Individual differences in fear and fearlessness have been investigated at their extremes in relation to markedly different forms of psychopathology - anxiety disorders and psychopathy, respectively. A documented neural substrate of fear-related traits and disorders is defensive reactivity as reflected in aversive startle potentiation (ASP).

Method: The current study extended prior work by characterizing, in a sample of adult twins from the community (n=2511), the phenotypic and etiologic structure of self-report measures of fear and fearlessness known to be associated with ASP.

Results: Analyses revealed a hierarchical structure to the trait fear domain, with an overarching, bipolar fear/fearlessness dimension saturating each measure in this domain, and subfactors labeled 'distress,' 'stimulation seeking' and 'sociability' accounting for additional variance in particular measures. The structure of genetic and non-shared environmental associations among the measures closely mirrored the phenotypic structure of the domain.

Conclusions: The findings have implications for proposals to reconceptualize psychopathology in neurobiological terms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press, 2012. Vol. 42, no 6, p. 1305-1320
Keywords [en]
Aversive startle potentiation, fear, personality
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-78734DOI: 10.1017/S0033291711002194ISI: 000303825800017Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84860783559OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-78734DiVA, id: diva2:1380518
Note

Funding Agencies:

Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research  

United States Department of Health & Human Services

National Institutes of Health (NIH) - USA

NIH National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) MH65137 MH072850 MH089727

Available from: 2019-12-19 Created: 2019-12-19 Last updated: 2020-01-07Bibliographically approved

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Kramer, Mark

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