Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-99c86f546-md8df Total loading time: 0.259 Render date: 2021-12-01T05:35:30.059Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Specific fears and phobias

Epidemiology and classification

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 January 2018

George Curtis
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
William J. Magee
Affiliation:
Department of Sociology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
William W. Eaton
Affiliation:
Department of Mental Hygiene, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
Hans-Ulrich Wittchen
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical Psychology and Epidemiology, Klinisches Institut, Max Planck Institut für Psychiatric Munich, Germany
Ronald C. Kessler
Affiliation:
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Abstract

Background

Data on eight specific fears representing DSM–III–R simple phobia were analysed to evaluate: (a) their prevalence and (b) the validity of subtypes of specific phobia defined by DSM–IV.

Method

A modified version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview was administered to a probability sample of 8098 community respondents. Correlates of responses to questions concerning these fears were analysed.

Results

The most prevalent specific fears were of animals among women, and of heights among men. Slight evidence was found for specific phobia subtypes. Number of fears, independent of type, powerfully predicted impairment, comorbidity, illness course, demographic features, and family psychopathology.

Conclusion

Number of specific fears may mark a general predisposition to psychopathology. More detailed information is needed to resolve the question of specific phobia subtypes.

Type
Papers
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 The Royal College of Psychiatrists 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Agras, S. Sylvester, D. & Oliveau, D. (1969) The epidemiology of common fears and phobia. Comprehensive psychiatry, 10, 151156.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
American Psychiatric Association (1980) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (3rd edn) (DSM–III). Washington, DC: ARA Google ScholarPubMed
Agras, S. (1987) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (3rd edn, revised) (DSM–III–R). Washington, DC: APA.Google Scholar
Agras, S. (1994) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edn) (DSM–IV). Washington, DC: APA.Google Scholar
Arrindell, W. A. Oei, T. P. S. Evans, L. et al (1991) Agoraphobic, animal, death–injury–illness and social stimuli clusters as major elements in a four-dimensional taxonomy of self-rated fears: first-order level confirmatory evidence from an Australian sample of anxiety disorder patients. Advances in behavior Research and Therapy, 13, 227249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bourdon, K. H. Boyd, J. H. Rae, D. S. et al (1988) Gender differences in phobias: results of the ECA community survey. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 2, 227241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Costello, C. G. (1982) Fears and phobias in women: a community study. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 91, 280286.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Craske, M. G. Barlow, D. H. Clark, D. M. et al (1996) Specific (Simple) Phobia. In DSM–IV Source Book, Vol. 2 (eds Widiger, T. A. Frances, A. J. Pincus, H. A. et al), pp. 473506. Washington, DC: APA.Google Scholar
Endicott, J. Andreasen, N. & Spitzer, R. L. (1978) Family History Research Diagnostic Criteria. New York: Biometrics Research, New York State Psychiatric Institute.Google Scholar
Harris, L. M. A. Menzies, R. G. (1996) Origins of specific fears: a comparison of associative and non-associative accounts. Anxiety, 2, 248250.3.0.CO;2-I>CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Institute for Social Research (1981) OSIRIS VII. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan.Google Scholar
Kendler, K. S. Silberg, J. L. Neale, H. C. et al (1991) The family history method: Whose psychiatric history is measured? American Journal of Psychiatry 148, 15011504.Google ScholarPubMed
Kendler, K. Neale, M. C. Kessler, R. C. et al (1992) The genetic epidemiology of phobias in women. The interrelationship of agoraphobia, social phobia, situational phobia, and simple phobia. Archives of General Psychiatry, 49, 273281.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kessler, R. C. & Wethington, E. (1991) The reliability of life events reports in a community survey. Psychological Medicine, 21, 116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kessler, R. C. (McGonagle, K. A. Zhao, S. et al (1994) Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of DSM–III–R psychiatric disorders in the United States. Results from the National Comorbidity Survey. Archives of General Psychiatry 51, 819.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kessler, R. C. Nelson, C. B. McGonagle, K. A. et al (1996) Comorbidity of DSM–III–R major depressive disorder in the general population: results from the US National Comorbidity Survey. British Journal of Psychiatry, 168 (suppl. 30), 1730.Google Scholar
Kessler, R. C. Crum, R. M. Warner, L. A. et al (1997) Lifetime co-occurrence of DSM–III–R alcohol abuse and dependence with other psychiatric disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey. Archives of General Psychiatry 54, 313321.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Koch, G. G. & Lemeshow, S. (1972) An application of multivariate analysis to complex sample survey data. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 67, 780782.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lazarsfeld, P. R. & Henry, N. W. (1968) Latent Structure Analysis. Boston, MA: Houghton-Mifflin.Google Scholar
Magee, W. J. Eaton, W. W. Wittchen, H.-U. et al (1996) Agoraphobia, simple phobia, and social phobia in the National Comorbidity Survey. Archives of General Psychiatry 53, 159168.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Marks, I. M. (1970) The classification of phobic disorders. British Journal of Psychiatry, 116, 377386.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Marks, I. M. (1988) Blood–injury phobia: a review. American Journal of Psychiatry, 145, 12071213.Google ScholarPubMed
McCutcheon, A. L. (1987) Latent Class Analysis. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Menzies, R. G. & Clarke, J. C. (1995) The etiology of phobias: a non-associative account. Clinical Psychology Review, 15, 2348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Phillips, K. Fulker, D. W. & Rose, R. J. (1987) Path analysis of seven fear factors in adult twin and sibling pairs and their parents. Genetic Epidemiology 4, 345355.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wittchen, H.-U. (1994) Reliability and validity studies of the WHO–Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI): a critical review. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 28, 5784.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Woodruff, R. S. & Causey, B. D. (1976) Computerised method for approximating the variance of a complicated estimate. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 71, 315321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
World Health Organization (1990) Composite International Diagnostic Interview (Version 1.0). Geneva: WHO.Google Scholar
World Health Organization (1992) The Tenth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD–10). Geneva: WHO.Google ScholarPubMed
Submit a response

eLetters

No eLetters have been published for this article.
115
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Specific fears and phobias
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Specific fears and phobias
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Specific fears and phobias
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *