Prevalence of self-reported specific phobia symptoms in an Israeli sample of young conscripts

Iulian Iancu*, Jennifer Levin, Pinhas N. Dannon, Amir Poreh, Yoram Ben Yehuda, Moshe Kotler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Specific phobia is a very prevalent disorder with high comorbidity rates. The aim of this study was to assess prevalence of specific phobia symptoms in a sample of Israeli young adults. Eight hundred fifty young Israeli soldiers participated in the study. Measures included a questionnaire on specific phobias and a socio-demographic questionnaire. Data on eight specific fears representing DSM-IV-TR specific phobias were analyzed to evaluate prevalence of phobic symptoms and find potential socio-demographic correlates. Prevalence of fears and specific phobic symptoms was 49.1 and 8.7%, respectively. Most frequent phobic symptoms were from animals, being alone, heights, injury and closed places. The following variables were accompanied by more phobic symptoms: male gender, role of mechanic, not having completed the matriculation exams, lack of friends and romantic relationships, therapy prior to enlistment or during the military service and having received psychotropic drugs in the past. Based on a stepwise regression analysis, the following variables contributed significantly to the prediction of phobic symptoms: lack of friends and romantic relationships, school absenteeism and role of mechanic. Our findings corroborate results from other studies in the Western world regarding the high prevalence of specific phobia symptomatology, as well as its distribution and socio-demographic correlates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)762-769
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Culture
  • Epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Self-report
  • Specific phobia
  • Stress

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