A Taxometric Study of the Latent Structure of Disgust Sensitivity: Converging Evidence for Dimensionality

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Joshua Broman-Fulks Ph.D, Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/

Abstract: Disgust sensitivity has recently been implicated as a specific vulnerability factor for several anxiety-related disorders. However, it is not clear whether disgust sensitivity is a dimensional or categorical phenomenon. The present study examined the latent structure of disgust by applying three taxometric procedures (maximum eigenvalue, mean above minus below a cut, and latent-mode factor analysis) to data collected from 2 large nonclinical samples on 2 different measures of disgust sensitivity. Disgust sensitivity in the first sample (n=1,153) was operationalized by disgust reactions to food, animals, body products, sex, body envelope violations, death, hygiene, and sympathetic magic, as assessed by the Disgust Sensitivity Scale (J. Haidt, C. McCauley, & P. Rozin, 1994). Disgust Sensitivity Scale indicators of core, animal reminder, and contamination disgust were also examined in the 1st sample. Disgust sensitivity in the 2nd independent sample (n=1,318) was operationalized by disgust reactions to animals, injections and blood draws, mutilation and death, rotting foods, and odors, as assessed by the Disgust Emotion Scale (R. A. Kleinknecht, E. E. Kleinknecht, & R. M. Thorndike, 1997). Results across both samples provide converging evidence that disgust sensitivity is best conceptualized as a dimensional construct, present to a greater or lesser extent in all individuals. These findings are discussed in relation to the conceptualization and assessment of disgust sensitivity as a specific dimensional vulnerability for certain anxiety and related disorders.

Additional Information

Olatunji, B. O. & Broman-Fulks, J. J. (2007). A taxometric study of the latent structure of disgust sensitivity: Converging evidence for dimensionality. Psychological Assessment, 19(4): 437-448. Published by the American Psychological Association (ISSN: 1939-134X).
Language: English
Date: 2007

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