Validation of Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI-16) on a Nonclinical Sample of Rwandans: A cross-sectional study

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Community Health, School of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali-Rwanda

2 Department of Clinical Psychology, School of Medicine and Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali-Rwanda



Introduction: Globally, anxiety diseases are considered as mental health concerns which increase mortality and morbidity. Anxiety sensitivity refers to the tendency of individuals to fear from anxiety-related symptoms due to the belief that these symptoms may have destructive consequences. 
Method: This cross-sectional study was conducted to validate Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI-16) on a non-psychiatric sample of 90 recruited students from the University of Rwanda. The recruited participants were aged 19 to 37 years [(Mean age (M=23.9, SD = 3.69)]. Both descriptive and analytical analyses were performed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS version 22). Alpha of Cronbach was used to assess the ASI-16 reliability. State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-Trait (STAI) was used to assess the criterion related concurrent validity. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was used to measure the criterion related divergent validity. Factor Analysis was used to assess the ASI-16 the construct validity.
Results: The findings confirmed a good internal consistence (Cronbach’s Alpha, α= 0.83). The results revealed the ASI-16 criterion related convergent validity of ASI-16 (r=.59; p=.000; ASI and STAI) and criterion related concurrent validity (r=.069; p=.51; ASI and BDI). The factor analyses indicated an overlapping of physical, psychological and social aspects attesting that ASI is one-dimensional tool assessing anxiety symptoms. More than a quarter of items seemed to assess all three factors of ASI; this attested that there were interconnections between physical, psychological or cognitive and social aspects. The participants who scored highly were considered to have the anxiety symptoms.  In this sample, the t-test was computed to compare males and females on the ASI-16 total scores and showed that there was no significant difference at 5% level [(Mean of males=29.3, Mean of females=29.57), t (26.176) at p=.000].
Conclusion: The results confirmed that ASI-16 seems to be valid and reliable to screen anxiety symptoms in a Rwandan sample. The norms of ASI should be constructed on the Rwandan population.