Original Article

Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 446-455

First online:

Distress Tolerance, Emotion Dysregulation, and Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms Among HIV+ Individuals

  • Charles P. BrandtAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Houston Email author 
  • , Michael J. ZvolenskyAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Houston
  • , Marcel O. Bonn-MillerAffiliated withCenter of Excellence in Substance Abuse Treatment and Education, Philadelphia VA Medical CenterNational Center for PTSD and Center for Health Care Evaluation, VA Palo Alto Health Care System Email author 

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The current study examined the mediational effects of emotion dysregulation in terms of the relation between perceived distress tolerance and anxiety and depressive symptoms among HIV+ individuals. Participants included 176 HIV+ adults (21.6 % female, M age = 48.40 years, SD = 8.66). Results indicated that distress tolerance was significantly related to greater depressive and anxiety symptoms. Results also indicated that emotion dysregulation mediated this association. The observed findings were evident above and beyond the variance accounted for by CD4 T-cell count, ethnicity, gender, education level, and cannabis use status. The results are discussed in terms of the potential explanatory utility of perceived distress tolerance and emotion dysregulation in terms of psychological well-being among HIV+ individuals.


Emotion dysregulation Distress tolerance HIV AIDS Anxiety Depression