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ERIC Number: ED189525
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Brehony, Kathleen A.
Agoraphobia is the most pervasive and serious phobic response seen by clinicians, accounting for approximately 50 to 60% of all phobic problems. The symptoms of agoraphobia, a condition in which an individual fears entering public areas, include fears of leaving home, fainting, entering open and closed spaces, shopping, entering social situations, and traveling far from home. There is much fear generalization to additional stimuli throughout the course of the disorder. Numerous other symptoms are commonly present including panic, "fear of fear," tension, dizziness, frequent depression, depersonalization, obsessions, and stress-related physical complaints. Clinical records indicate that approximately 84% of agoraphobics seen by clinicians are female. This marked sex difference is not seen in other "neurotic" disorders such as anxiety neurosis and social anxieties. Similarities between characteristics of the feminine sex-role stereotype and the typical characteristics of agoraphobia are striking and suggest that the feminine sex-role stereotype may serve as an important etiological variable in the development of these serious symptoms. Sex-role expectations for women often lead to phobic symptoms. The influences of classical and operant conditioning, modeling, and the transmission of information are mechanisms through which female, agoraphobic-like behaviors are learned. (Author)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Agoraphobia
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (26th, Washington, DC, March 26-29, 1980).