Situational uncertainty interacts with anxiety sensitivity and distress intolerance to predict anticipated worry and preparation for a hurricane

Hannah C. Broos, Caitlin A. Stamatis, Zachary Goodman, Maria M. Llabre, Michael Zvolensky, Kiara R. Timpano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: There is evidence for the impact of emotional intolerance on reactivity to stressors, but it is unknown whether the level of situational uncertainty may moderate this relationship. We examined whether situational uncertainty moderated the relationship between emotional intolerance and anticipated anxious responding to hurricane forecasts, considering three aspects of emotional tolerance: anxiety sensitivity, distress intolerance, and hurricane-specific distress intolerance. Methods: Participants (N = 358) were Florida residents who experienced Hurricane Irma. Participants were presented with two hypothetical storm forecasts that varied in level of uncertainty: 5-day forecast (high uncertainty) and 3-day forecast (low uncertainty). Participants rated their anticipated worry and preparation for each forecast. Results: Significant interactions between forecast uncertainty and both anxiety sensitivity and hurricane-specific distress intolerance emerged on anticipated worry, such that there was a stronger relationship in the high uncertainty condition. Forecast uncertainty also moderated the relationship between anxiety sensitivity and anticipated preparation in the same direction. There were no significant interactions between forecast uncertainty and distress intolerance on either anticipated worry or preparation. Conclusions: Specific aspects of emotional intolerance appear to have a stronger influence on anticipated worry and preparatory behavior in high uncertainty situations. These findings suggest that distinct emotional tolerance factors may influence these responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnxiety, Stress and Coping
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Worry
  • anxiety sensitivity
  • distress tolerance
  • emotional intolerance
  • hurricane forecast
  • situational uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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