Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 593–602 | Cite as

Evaluating Distress Tolerance Measures: Interrelations and Associations with Impulsive Behaviors

  • Michael D. Anestis
  • Jason M. Lavender
  • Erin C. Marshall-Berenz
  • Kim L. Gratz
  • Matthew T. Tull
  • Thomas E. Joiner
Original Article


Prior studies have utilized a variety of self-report and behavioral measures of distress tolerance to predict dysregulated behaviors and other problematic outcomes. However, few studies have examined the concurrent associations among these various measures, which may be assessing distinct constructs. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the concurrent utility of several self-report and behavioral distress tolerance measures in predicting two clinically-relevant outcomes: bulimic symptoms and general impulsive behaviors. Results of hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that whereas only self-reported emotional distress tolerance was significantly associated with bulimic symptom severity, self-reported emotional and physical distress tolerance, as well as a behavioral measure of psychological distress tolerance, were significantly associated with impulsive behaviors in general. These findings highlight the need for further explication of the conceptualization and operationalization of the distress tolerance construct, as well as research examining the convergent and discriminant validity of various distress tolerance assessments.


Distress tolerance Emotion dysregulation Experiential avoidance Bulimia Disordered eating Impulsive behaviors 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael D. Anestis
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jason M. Lavender
    • 2
    • 3
  • Erin C. Marshall-Berenz
    • 2
    • 4
  • Kim L. Gratz
    • 2
  • Matthew T. Tull
    • 2
  • Thomas E. Joiner
    • 1
  1. 1.Florida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.University of Mississippi Medical CenterJacksonUSA
  3. 3.University at Albany, State University of New YorkAlbanyUSA
  4. 4.University of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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