Advertisement

Interrelating Behavioral Measures of Distress Tolerance with Self-Reported Experiential Avoidance

  • Heather M. Schloss
  • David A. F. HaagaEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

Experiential avoidance and distress intolerance play a central role in novel behavior therapies, yet they appear to overlap considerably the REBT concept of low frustration tolerance. Using baseline data from 100 adult cigarette smokers enrolled in a clinical trial of smoking cessation therapies, the present study evaluated the convergent validity of common questionnaire measures of experiential avoidance (Acceptance and Action Questionnaire; AAQ; Hayes et al. 2004, and Avoidance and Inflexibility Scale: AIS; Gifford et al. 2004) and behavioral measures of distress tolerance (computerized Mirror Tracing Persistence Task: MTPT-C: Strong et al. 2003; computerized Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task; PASAT-C; Lejuez et al. 2003). The distress tolerance measures correlated significantly (r = .29) with one another. However, the questionnaire measures of experiential avoidance did not correlate with each other, nor with the behavioral measures. Further research is needed on the validity of measuring experiential avoidance by self-report and of the overlap versus distinctiveness of seemingly similar constructs such as experiential avoidance, distress tolerance, and frustration tolerance.

Keywords

Experiential avoidance Acceptance Distress tolerance Assessment Cigarette smokers 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was funded by National Cancer Institute grant 2 R15 CA77732-02-A1. The results were presented at the 41st annual convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT), Philadelphia, PA, November, 2007. We are grateful to Carl Lejuez for consultation regarding the behavioral measures of distress tolerance and to Kimberly Bowen, James Douglass, Lisa Fucito, Ramaris German, Debbie Glasofer, Angela Gray, Ozge Gurel, Meaghan Leddy, Colleen Sevilla, Sarah Skopek, Melissa Tanner, and Sarah Weisberg for assistance with conducting this study.

References

  1. Bond, F. W., & Bunce, D. (2003). The role of acceptance and job control in mental health, job satisfaction, and work performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88, 1057–1067.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bornovalova, M. B., Gratz, K. L., Daughters, S. B., Nick, B., Delaney-Brumsey, A., Lynch, T. R., Kosson, D., & Lezjuez, C. W. (2006). A multimodal assessment of the relationship between emotion dysregulation and borderline personality disorder among inner-city treatment seeking substance users. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  3. Brandon, T. H., Herzog, T. A., Juliano, L. M., Irvin, J. E., Lazev, A. B., & Simmons, V. N. (2003). Pretreatment task persistence predicts smoking cessation outcome. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 112, 448–456.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brown, R. A., Lejuez, C. W., Kahler, C. W., & Strong, D. R. (2002). Distress tolerance and duration of past smoking cessation attempts. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 111, 180–185.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown, R. A., Lejuez, C. W., Kahler, C. W., Strong, D. R., & Zvolensky, M. J. (2005). Distress tolerance and early smoking lapse. Clinical Psychology Review, 25, 713–733.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Daughters, S. B., Lejuez, C. W., Kahler, C. W., Strong, D. R., & Brown, R. A. (2005a). Psychological distress tolerance and duration of most recent abstinence attempt among residential treatment-seeking substance abusers. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 19, 208–211.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Daughters, S. B., Lejuez, C. W., Strong, D. R., Brown, R. A., Breen, R. B., & Lesieur, H. R. (2005b). The relationship among negative affect, distress tolerance, and length of gambling abstinence attempt. Journal of Gambling Studies, 21, 363–378.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dryden, W. (1999). Beyond LFT and discomfort disturbance: The case for the term “non-ego disturbance”. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 17, 165–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ellis, A. (2003). Reasons why rational emotive behavior therapy is relatively neglected in the professional and scientific literature. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 21, 245–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Epstein, S. (1979). The stability of behavior: On predicting most of the people much of the time. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 1097–1126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Feldner, M. T., Hekmat, H., Zvolensky, M. J., Vowles, K. E., Secrist, Z., & Leen-Feldner, E. W. (2006). The role of experiential avoidance in acute pain tolerance: A laboratory test. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 37, 146–158.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gifford, E. V., Kohlenberg, B. S., Hayes, S. C., Antonuccio, D. O., Piasecki, M. M., Rasmussen-Hall, M., et al. (2004). Acceptance-based treatment for smoking cessation. Behavior Therapy, 35, 689–705.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gratz, K. L., Rosenthal, M. Z., Tull, M. T., Lejuez, C. W., & Gunderson, J. G. (2006). An experimental investigation of emotion dysregulation in borderline personality disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 115, 850–855.Google Scholar
  14. Harrington, N. (2007). Frustration intolerance as a multidimensional concept. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 25, 191–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hayes, S. C. (2004). Acceptance and commitment therapy, relational frame theory, and the third wave of behavioral and cognitive therapies. Behavior Therapy, 35, 639–665.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K. D., & Wilson, K. G. (1999). Acceptance and commitment therapy: An experiential approach to behavior change. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  17. Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K., Wilson, K. G., Bissett, R. T., Pistorello, J., Toarmino, D., et al. (2004). Measuring experiential avoidance: A preliminary test of a working model. The Psychological Record, 54, 553–578.Google Scholar
  18. Hayes, S. C., Wilson, K. G., Gifford, E. V., Follette, V. M., & Strosahl, K. D. (1996). Experiential avoidance and behavioral disorders: A functional dimensional approach to diagnosis and treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64, 1152–1168.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kenrick, D. T., & Funder, D. C. (1988). Profiting from controversy: Lessons from the person-situation debate. American Psychologist, 43, 23–34.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lejuez, C. W., Kahler, C. W., & Brown, R. A. (2003). A modified computer version of the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT) as a laboratory-based stressor. The Behavior Therapist, 26, 290–293.Google Scholar
  21. Rodman, S. A., Daughters, S. B., & Lejuez, C. W. (2009). Distress tolerance and rational-emotive behavior therapy: A new role for behavioral analogue tasks. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 27, 97–120.Google Scholar
  22. Murray, H. W. (2007). The impact of brief acceptance-based versus control-based interventions on distress tolerance in early lapsing nicotine dependent individuals. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Philadelphia, PA: Drexel University.Google Scholar
  23. Quinn, E. P., Brandon, T. H., & Copeland, A. L. (1996). Is task persistence related to smoking and substance abuse? The application of learned industriousness theory to addictive behaviors. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 4, 186–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rosnow, R. L., & Rosenthal, R. (2002). Beginning behavioral research: A conceptual primer (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  25. Segal, Z. V., Williams, J. M. G., & Teasdale, J. D. (2002). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression: A new approach to preventing relapse. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  26. Strong, D. R., Lejuez, C. W., Daughters, S., Marinello, M., Kahler, C. W., & Brown, R. A. (2003). The computerized mirror tracing task, version 1. Unpublished manual.Google Scholar
  27. Terjesen, M. D., Salhany, J., & Sciutto, M. J. (2009). A psychometric review of measures of irrational beliefs: Implications for psychotherapy. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 27, 83–96.Google Scholar
  28. Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 1063–1070.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyAmerican UniversityWashingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations