J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2022 Feb 18. doi: 10.1007/s40615-022-01263-0. Online ahead of print.
The non-Hispanic Black adult population has notable disparities in mental and physical health compared to several other racial/ethnic groups. Yet, there is a lack of scientific knowledge about psychologically based individual difference factors that may be associated with an exacerbation of common mental and physical health symptoms among non-Hispanic Black persons. The present investigation sought to build on the limited knowledge about anxiety sensitivity among non-Hispanic Black adults by exploring whether this construct was uniquely associated with a range of prevalent mental health and psychosomatic symptoms commonly tied to disparities among this population. Participants included non-Hispanic Black adults (N = 205; Mage = 21.67 years; SDage = 5.39; age range: 18-60 years; 82.0% female). Results indicated that anxiety sensitivity was positively related to anxious arousal, general depression, insomnia, fatigue severity, and somatic symptom severity; effects were evident above and beyond the variance explained by a range of covariates, including age, sex, education, subjective social status, and neuroticism. Overall, the present findings uniquely build from past research on anxiety sensitivity and non-Hispanic Black adults by demonstrating that individual differences in this construct are consistently and relatively robustly associated with a wide range of mental health and psychosomatic symptoms. Future research that builds from this work may benefit from consideration of intervention programming targeting anxiety sensitivity reduction to offset mental and physical health impairments among the non-Hispanic Black population.