Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Clinical.




The purpose of the present study was an attempt to integrate a range of presenting difficulties found in the agoraphobia syndrome with the goal of identifying a set of factors which may predispose an individual to respond to stressors in an agoraphobic manner. It was hypothesized that a group of clinical subjects would differ from a nonclinical contrast group on selected variables. In particular, differences related to overall personality functioning, style of forming cognitive attributions related to somatic symptoms, and in patterns of coping with stressful situations were predicted. The clinical subjects consisted of 50 male and female agoraphobics who had been referred for treatment on an outpatient basis. Each subject completed a set of questionnaires related to personality characteristics, patterns of fears, beliefs regarding the consequences of anxiety, measures of symptom expression, and styles of coping. The contrast group consisted of 50 subjects sampled from an undergraduate population who were matched with the clinical subjects according to age, sex, and marital status distributions. They were given the same set of questionnaires as the clinical sample so that group differences could be assessed. The results suggested that a personality pattern consistent with passive withdrawal from stressors, diminished coping, the formation of dependent relationships, and a heightened fear of the effects of anxiety are associated with agoraphobia, and may act as factors predisposing an individual to become agoraphobic subsequent to an experience of high autonomic arousal.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1988 .F574. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 49-04, Section: B, page: 1385. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1988.