Family characteristics of subjects with panic attacks

David A. Katerndahl, Janet P. Realini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: This study identified associations between panic states and family 1) structure, 2) functioning, and 3) stress/support. Methods: Ninety-seven adults with panic disorder or infrequent panic attacks, based on the Structured Clinical Interview of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Third Edition, Revised, were matched to 97 subjects without panic symptoms based on age, gender, and race/ethnicity. All subjects completed a structured interview concerning health care use by family members and family characteristics. Family functioning was assessed using the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales, and family stress/support were assessed using the Duke Social Support and Stress Scales. Results: Although groups did not differ in either perceived or ideal family cohesion or adaptability, the panic group perceived their families as more dysfunctional and reported higher levels of family stress and total stress but lower levels of support, including family support, nonfamily support, and total support. Conclusions: Subjects with panic symptoms have families with high levels of dysfunction and stress but low levels of support. Increased family dysfunction may be due to comorbid substance abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-567
Number of pages5
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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