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Frustration Intolerance Beliefs: Their Relationship with Depression, Anxiety, and Anger, in a Clinical Population

Abstract

Beliefs regarding the toleration of frustration and discomfort are often described as underlying psychological disturbance, and represent a fundamental concept in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). Nevertheless, there has been little systematic analysis of the content of these beliefs, which are often treated as a unidimensional construct. This paper investigates the relationship between a multidimensional Frustration Discomfort Scale (FDS) and measures of depressed mood, anxiety, and anger, in a clinical population. Results indicated that FDS sub-scales were differentially related to specific emotions, independent of self-esteem and negative affect. The entitlement sub-scale was uniquely associated with anger, discomfort intolerance with depressed mood, and emotional intolerance with anxiety. These results supported the validity of the FDS, the importance of distinguishing between frustration intolerance dimensions, and of separating these beliefs from those related to self-worth.

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Acknowledgment

This paper is based on research submitted to the University of Edinburgh in fulfilment of a Doctorate of Philosophy degree. I would like to thank Professor Mick Power for his help and encouragement throughout the research.

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Correspondence to Neil Harrington.

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Copies of the Frustration Discomfort Scale are available from the author on request

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Harrington, N. Frustration Intolerance Beliefs: Their Relationship with Depression, Anxiety, and Anger, in a Clinical Population. Cogn Ther Res 30, 699–709 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-006-9061-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-006-9061-6

Keywords

  • Frustration intolerance
  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger