Temperamental vulnerabilities (e.g., behavioral inhibition, anxiety sensitivity) and cognitive biases (e.g., interpretive and judgment biases) may exacerbate feelings of stress and anxiety, particularly among late adolescents during the early years of college. The goal of the present study was to apply person-centered analyses to explore possible heterogeneity in the patterns of these four risk factors in late adolescence, and to examine associations with several anxiety outcomes (i.e., worry, anxiety symptoms, and trait anxiety). Cluster analyses in a college sample of 855 late adolescents revealed a Low-Risk group, along with four reliable clusters with distinct profiles of risk factors and anxiety outcomes (Inhibited, Sensitive, Cognitively-Biased, and Multi-Risk). Of the risk profiles, Multi-Risk youth experienced the highest levels of anxiety outcomes, whereas Inhibited youth experienced the lowest levels of anxiety outcomes. Sensitive and Cognitively-Biased youth experienced comparable levels of anxiety-related outcomes, despite different constellations of risk factors. Implications for interventions and future research are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Psychiatry and Mental health