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Experiential avoidance as a generalized psychological vulnerability: Comparisons with coping and emotion regulation strategies

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Abstract

Extending previous work, we conducted two studies concerning the toxic influences of experiential avoidance (EA) as a core mechanism in the development and maintenance of psychological distress, and disruption of pleasant, engaging, and spontaneous activity. Of particular interest was whether EA accounted for relationships between coping and emotion regulation strategies on anxiety-related pathology (Study 1) and psychological distress and hedonic functioning over the course of a 21-day monitoring period (Study 2). In Study 1, EA mediated the effects of maladaptive coping, emotional responses styles, and uncontrollability on anxiety-related distress (e.g., anxiety sensitivity, trait anxiety, suffocation fears, and body sensation fears). In Study 2, EA completely mediated the effects of two emotion regulation strategies (i.e., suppression and reappraisal) on daily negative and positive experiences and was associated with diminished daily positive affective experiences and healthy life appraisals, diminished frequency of positive events and more frequent negative life events, and greater negative affective experiences. The present data show that cognitive reappraisal, a primary process of traditional cognitive-behavior therapy, was much less predictive of the quality of psychological experiences and events in everyday life compared with EA. Further consideration of experiential avoidance as a generalized diathesis and toxic process will be useful in improving our understanding of the etiology, phenomenology, and treatment of anxiety conditions, general human suffering, and disruptions in hedonic capacity.

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... This would increase the incentive to change despite the unavoidable obstacles and encourages individuals to strive to achieve valuable life goals. Finally, this would improve quality of life, especially in the psychological field (47). ...
... The findings of studies by Jones and Hurrell (48) and Olason et al. (49) indicating the effectiveness of CBT and ACT in increasing the quality of life among patients with chronic pain and reducing pain is consistent with those of the present study (47). Moreover, the present findings are in line with those reported by (57). ...
... CBT enhances a person's ability to adapt to stressful situations by improving his/her coping styles and thus reduces learning effective and efficient coping strategies for anxiety. Sun et al. (58) state that CBT decreases depression by focusing on selfefficacy and modifying thoughts as such it makes the depressed person more active and cohesive (47). With a positive effect on depression, CBT has also been the focus of numerous studies. ...
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Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, common, and progressive disease of the nervous system, and the affected individuals suffer from its complications throughout their lives and experience different physical and emotional disorders. Objectives: The present study aimed to compare the effectiveness of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and cognitive-behavioral ‎therapy (CBT) in enhancing resiliency and quality of life among MS patients. Methods: This randomized clinical trial was carried out on 30 MS patients referred to the Department of Neurology in Baqiyatallah Hospital (Tehran, Iran) during February 19 to September 1, 2017. The patients were randomly assigned to three groups: (1) ACT (n = 10, 8 sessions, 90-minute weekly‎ sessions), (2) CBT (n = 10, 10 sessions, 90-minute weekly‎ sessions), and (3) control group (n = 10, no sessions). The resilience and quality of life were measured in pre-test and post-test phases and 1.5 months after treatment using the Connor-Davidson Resilience and Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scales, respectively. Repeated measurement ANOVA and SPSS Software (version 24) were used in this study to analyze the collected data. Results: The study sample consisted of 30 MS patients (mean age = 31.7 ± 5.7, 60% female and 57% married). The three groups were homogeneous in terms of demographic and baseline variables. The results demonstrated that both ACT and CBT had the same effectiveness in increasing resiliency (mean difference in CBT = 0.9 vs ACT = 0.8 (P = 0.882); CBT = 0.9 vs. Control = -1.4 (P = 0.004); ACT = 0.8 vs. Control = -1.4 (P = 0.0041)) and quality of life (mean difference in CBT = 2.9 vs ACT = 3.1 (P = 0.051); CBT = 2.9 vs. Control = 0.6 (P = 0.002); ACT = 3.1 vs. Control = 0.6 (P = 0.014)) among the MS patients so that the participants’ post-test and follow-up scores increased significantly compared to the pretest scores. Conclusions: The present study results indicate that ACT and CBT can equally enhance resiliency and quality of life among MS patients.
... People scoring more highly on EA tend to try to escape or control their private upsetting experiences, which restricts their meaningful behaviors and activities, including their committed actions (Hayes et al., 2012). Greater EA is related to reduced health benefits and life satisfaction (Kashdan et al., 2006;Chawla and Ostafin, 2007), suggesting that EA may be an important risk factor for life satisfaction (Graham et al., 2016;Valdivia-Salas et al., 2017;Lucas and Moore, 2020). For example, if someone feels anxious in social situations, then to avoid feeling anxious they may restrict social activities, decreasing life satisfaction. ...
... As shown in Table 4, EA was correlated with committed action, and both committed action and EA were correlated with life satisfaction. This aligns with previous findings (Kashdan et al., 2006;Chawla and Ostafin, 2007;Graham et al., 2016;Valdivia-Salas et al., 2017;Trindade et al., 2018;Lucas and Moore, 2020). On this basis, we further investigated whether committed action mediates the relationships between EA and life satisfaction. ...
Article
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Background: Committed action is one of the core processes of psychological flexibility derived from acceptance and commitment therapy. It has not been widely investigated in mainland China as appropriate measures are lacking. The current study aimed to validate a Chinese (Mandarin) version of the Committed Action Questionnaire (CAQ-8) in a non-clinical college sample and to explore whether committed action would have a mediating effect in the association between experiential avoidance (EA) and life satisfaction. Methods: We translated the CAQ-8 into Chinese (Mandarin). A total of 913 Chinese undergraduates completed a set of questionnaires measuring committed action, EA, mindful awareness, anxiety, depression, stress, and life satisfaction. For test–retest reliability, 167 respondents completed the CAQ-8 again 4 weeks later. Results: The entire scale of CAQ-8 (Mandarin) and two subscales showed adequate internal consistency and acceptable test–retest reliability. Confirmatory factor analyses confirmed the two-factor structure and the convergent and criterion validity were acceptable. Committed action was correlated with less EA, more mindful awareness, less depressive symptoms, less anxiety, less stress, and more life satisfaction. In bootstrap mediation analyses, committed action partially mediated the association between EA and life satisfaction. Conclusion: The results suggest that the CAQ-8 (Mandarin) is a brief, psychometrically sound instrument to investigate committed action in Chinese populations, and the relationship between EA and life satisfaction was partially explained by committed action. This study provides new information about the usefulness of CAQ-8 and supports the assumption that committed action may be considered a promising factors for improving life satisfaction who have involved in EA among an educated non-clinical population.
... Research shows that EA is associated with anxiety, depression, and stress symptom severity, eating disorders, and a ariety of chronic physical health conditions, such as chronic pain, as well as worse social functioning, lower mindfulness, and self-compassion (Levin et al., 2014;Shorey et al., 2017;Spinhoven et al., 2014;Edwards & Vowles, 2020;Fledderus et al., 2012;Monestès et al., 2018;Pennatoe et al., 2013;Zhang et al., 2014;Bardeen & Fergus, 2016). It has been demonstrated that experiential avoidance explains the poorer quality of life among non-clinical samples (Kashdan et al., 2006). These findings suggest that psychological inflexibly may be a transdiagnostic process that is associated with higher risks of many forms of psychopathology. ...
... AAQ-II was also negatively, significantly associated with health, and economic well-being. These results are consistent with published reports on AAQ-II (e. g., Eisenbeck & Szabó- Bartha, 2018;Karekla & Panayioutou, 2011;Kashdan et al., 2006Kashdan et al., , 2020. ...
Conference Paper
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The objective of this study was to assess the psychometric properties of the Latvian version of the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (AAQ-II), measuring psychological flexibility described as the ability to act according to chosen values while consciously being in contact with subjectively unpleasant present moment experiences. The scale provides a single score across 7 items. The original AAQ-II was translated to Latvian and then back to English. The Satisfaction with Life Scale, Flourishing Scale and Meaning in Life Questionnaire was applied for testing the convergent validity of the AAQ-II. Participants of the study were 191 people, ranged in age from 19 to 68 (159 women, mean age M = 30.62, SD = 9.50). Reliability analysis, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis (EFA and CFA) of the scale were performed. EFA indicated a one-factor structure. Results showed that the Latvian version of AAQ-II has good psychometric properties and convergent validity. Testing of the original model by CFA resulted in acceptable fit indices.
... With respect to anxiety symptoms, positive treatment outcomes produced relatively larger positive associations with reduced disengagement (versus improved engagement) ER skills during treatment. One possible explanation for this finding is the central role in reducing the experiential avoidance and anxious arousal common in anxiety through exposures and cognitive restructuring across several intervention approaches 54,55 . Young people with anxiety are often explicitly taught to accept rather than suppress their feared thoughts or situations in treatments, which may facilitate a reduction in disengagement ER skills (that is, avoidance, ruminative negative thinking and suppression) that may have maintained their anxiety 54,55 . ...
... One possible explanation for this finding is the central role in reducing the experiential avoidance and anxious arousal common in anxiety through exposures and cognitive restructuring across several intervention approaches 54,55 . Young people with anxiety are often explicitly taught to accept rather than suppress their feared thoughts or situations in treatments, which may facilitate a reduction in disengagement ER skills (that is, avoidance, ruminative negative thinking and suppression) that may have maintained their anxiety 54,55 . Nevertheless, increases in engagement ER and reductions to emotion dysregulation were also associated with reduced anxiety symptoms during treatment. ...
Article
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Difficulties in applying emotional regulation (ER) skills are associated with depression and anxiety symptoms, and are common targets of treatment. This meta-analysis examined whether improvements in ER skills were associated with psychological treatment outcomes for depression and/or anxiety in youth. A multivariate, random-effects meta-analysis was run using metafor in R. Inclusion criteria included studies that were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of a psychological intervention for depression and/or anxiety in patients aged 14–24, were peer reviewed, were written in English, measured depression and/or anxiety symptoms as an outcome and measured ER as an outcome. Medline, Embase, APA PsycInfo, CINAHL and The Cochrane Library were searched up to 26 June 2020. Risk of bias (ROB) was assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration Risk of Bias 2.0 tool. The meta-analysis includes 385 effect sizes from 90 RCTs with total N = 11,652. Psychological treatments significantly reduced depression, anxiety, emotion dysregulation (k = 13, Hedges’ g = 0.54, P < 0.001, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.30–0.78) and disengagement ER (k = 83, g = 0.24, 95% CI = 0.15–0.32, P < 0.001); engagement ER also increased (k = 82, g = 0.26, 95% CI = 0.15–0.32, P < 0.001). Improvements in depression and anxiety were positively associated with improved engagement ER skills, reduced emotion dysregulation and reduced disengagement ER skills. Sensitivity considered study selection and publication bias. Longer treatments, group formats and cognitive-behavioural orientations produced larger positive associations between improved ER skills and reduced symptoms. ER skill improvement is linked to depression and anxiety across a broad range of interventions for youth. Limitations of the current study include reliance on self-report measures, content overlap between variables and inability to test the directionality of associations.
... This, in the long run, promotes the aversive emotional state that originated the avoidant behavior (Boulanger et al., 2010;Chawla & Ostafin, 2007;Hayes. (2006); Kashdan et al., 2006). As such, Experiential Avoidance has been also associated with internet addiction (Chou et al., 2017(Chou et al., , 2018García-Oliva & Piqueras, 2016) and depression (Cribb et al., 2006;Bjornsson et al., 2010;Tull et al., 2004;Tull & Gratz, 2008). ...
Article
Previous research has found a consistent association between depressive symptomatology and a problematic use of the Internet, however, the causal pathways responsible for this association are not well known. Following emotion regulation theory, the present study aimed to explore the longitudinal dynamics between using the Internet to distract oneself, difficulties controlling Internet use, and depressive symptoms. A sample of 163 adults from Chile completed intensive self-reports about Internet use and depressive symptoms over 35 days. Using growth curve models, we predicted depressive symptoms both by a person's average tendency (between-subjects) to use the internet for distraction and having problems controlling internet use, and by momentary fluctuations (within-subjects). We also tested a model with reversed paths. Results indicate that momentary increases in distraction are not associated with depressive symptoms, however, increases in the latter were associated with more distraction. The relationship between distraction and depressive symptoms was mediated by difficulties controlling internet use, but only at the between-subjects level. This suggests that a higher average tendency to use the internet to distract oneself may work as an emotional buffer, with negative emotional consequences in the long run, an effect that takes time to completely unfold. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
... With a few exceptions (Duffy & Shaw, 2000;Vecchio, 2000), surprisingly, little research has examined the relationship between envy and avoidance-oriented behaviors. This is especially surprising given that pain is a defining feature of envy (Tai et al., 2012), and ample research indicates that avoidance is a common emotion regulation strategy to evade pain (Berman, 2007;Kashdan et al., 2006). In organizational life, avoidance behaviors include skipping work; this initial, temporary withdrawal often deteriorates such that avoidance eventually takes the form of turnover, with employees permanently leaving their place of employment (Grandey, 2000;Harrison et al., 2006). ...
Article
Research on envy is dominated by a focus on approach-oriented behaviors—when envious employees take action to reduce the gap between the self and envied targets. Surprisingly little research has examined the relationship between envy and avoidance-oriented behaviors, even though emotion regulation research suggests that avoidance is a common reaction to unpleasant, painful emotions such as envy. We seek to understand envy’s consequences for workplace avoidance—namely absenteeism and turnover. Drawing on theories about how people interpret and regulate emotions according to their goals, we suggest that employees’ individual differences in motivational strivings shape the relationship between envy and avoidance behaviors. We propose that for employees high in communion or status striving, envy is associated with more absences and thereby increased turnover; for employees high in achievement striving, envy is associated with fewer absences and ultimately reduced turnover. A field study of supermarket employees shows general support for our conceptual model regarding communion and achievement strivings but a null effect for status striving. Our research expands the nomological network of envy by examining its impact on workplace avoidance, helps to shed light on contradictory findings in envy research, and offers implications for theories on work motivation, emotions, and avoidance behaviors.
... From an ACT perspective, EA is conceptualized as "attempts to avoid thoughts, feelings, memories, physical sensations, and other internal experiences even when doing so creates harm in the long-run" . Thus, low EA is a broad, higher-order construct that involves a particular type of avoidance that occurs in response to an array of potentially aversive internal experiences, including anxiety sensations ( Kashdan et al., 2006 ), with the explicit condition that the avoidance leads to impairment in the ability to engage or persist in valuesdirected behavior ( Chawla & Ostafin, 2007 ). Given this theoretical formulation, the incremental variance in anxiety and panic associated with EA might be attributable to its assessment of impairment related to living inconsistently with what is personally important. ...
Preprint
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Background: Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are empirically supported treatments for anxiety and panic disorder (PD), though they differ in their putative vulnerability and maintenance processes. The present study examined the incremental validity of several of these models' proposed core processes, including anxiety sensitivity (AS), dispositional avoidance, experiential avoidance (EA), cognitive fusion (CF), and mindfulness, as well as the interaction of the processes within each model, in the prediction of anxiety and panic symptomology. Methods: A sample of U.S. adults (n = 316) completed self-report measures of AS, dispositional avoidance, EA, CF, mindfulness, anxiety, and PD symptoms. A series of hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted. Results: Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that AS, dispositional avoidance, and EA predicted anxiety and panic symptoms even after controlling for one another, CF, mindfulness, and demographic variables. Although mindfulness and CF were correlated with anxiety and panic at the univariate level, they did not predict either outcome above and beyond AS, dispositional avoidance, and EA. When interaction terms were added to the models, the interaction between AS and dispositional avoidance was a significant predictor of panic and anxiety symptoms , whereas the interaction between EA and CF only predicted panic symptoms. None of the interactions that included mindfulness were significant predictors. Conclusions: These findings provide support the independent and interactive predictive value of traditional CBT (AS, dispositional avoidance, and AS-dispositional avoidance) and ACT (EA) processes for anxiety and panic symptoms, but raise questions about the incremental predictive utility of CF and mindfulness.
... Although both rumination and experiential avoidance strategies aim to reduce the emotional experience (Hayes-Skelton & Eustis, 2020;Jaso et al., 2020;Lyubomirsky et al., 2006), rumination implies going back to the emotional experience, its causes and its consequences, and thinking about them over and over again, in a passive way (Balsamo, 2010;Nolen-Hoeksema et al., 2008), while experiential avoidance strategies intend to avoid negatively evaluated thoughts and emotional experiences altogether (Hayes-Skelton & Eustis, 2020; Kashdan et al., 2006). ...
Article
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Background: According to empirical evidence, trait anger and emotion regulation strategies are associated with depression severity. The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of trait anger and maladaptive emotion regulation strategies in explaining the variance of depressive symptoms severity. Methods: 203 participants diagnosed with major depressive disorder completed measures of depression, trait anger, depressive rumination, anger rumination, and experiential avoidance. Path analysis using Mplus was employed for data analysis. Results: Trait anger and depressive rumination were significant predictors of the level of depressive symptomatology, while experiential avoidance and anger rumination did not predict the level of depressive symptoms severity. Conclusion: Maladaptive emotion regulation strategies and trait anger seem to be associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms and, as such, should also be investigated when working with depressive symptomatology.
... In their model, suppression is considered to be a reaction-centered emotional regulation strategy, which regulates emotional responses by controlling emotional expression behaviors that are about to occur or are occurring (Gross, 2010). In stressful situations, suppression may be used in an attempt to change or avoid negative thoughts and feelings (Kashdan et al., 2006). Previous studies have reported that mood regulation strategies are often important regulatory variables affecting psychological changes in task conflict situations. ...
Article
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Under the impact of COVID-19, the status and mechanisms of post-traumatic growth among medical workers facing challenges related to family-work conflict are of great concern. In view of the complex relationship between family-work conflict and post-traumatic growth, the present study sought to explore the specific relationships between family-work conflict and post-traumatic growth as well as the specific roles of positive psychological capital, perceived social support, and suppression. We recruited 1,347 participants. The results revealed that positive psychological capital and perceived social support played mediating roles, while suppression strategies moderated the mediating effect. Compared with the low suppression group, the negative impact of family-work conflict on positive psychological capital and perceived social support was reduced in the high suppression group. Thus, a higher level of suppression was more conducive to post-traumatic growth. The current study enriches and expands the findings of previous studies in theory and provides practical ways to promote post-traumatic growth in medical workers.
... Although work-related psychological flexibility, the mediating effect of which between the independent and dependent variables was investigated in this study, has not been studied much yet as a new concept, there are studies in which the mediating effect of psychological flexibility variable was investigated. Studies show that psychological flexibility is positively correlated with psychological wellbeing (Kashdan & Rottenberg, 2010;Masuda & Tully, 2011) and negatively correlated with depression (Bond & Bunce, 2000), anxiety (Kashdan et al., 2006) and general psychological distress (Bond & Bunce, 2003). In the literature, there are studies examining the mediating role of psychological flexibility in relation to mindfulness. ...
Article
This research focused on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which is one of the third wave Cognitive Behavioral approaches, and its core concept of psychological flexibility specific to the work environment of school counselors. In this regard, this study's purpose was first to analyze the relationship between school counselors' mindfulness and psychological wellbeing, second the mediating effect of work-related psychological flexibility in the relationship between mindfulness and psychological wellbeing. With this purpose in mind, The Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), Psychological Well-being Scale (PWBS), and Work-related Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (WAAQ) were used. The sample of the study consisted of 279 (72.5%) female and 106 (27.5%) male (N= 385) school counselors from diverse cities in Turkey. As a result of regression and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) analysis, mindfulness significantly predicted school counselors' psychological wellbeing, and work-related psychological flexibility partially mediated the relationship between mindfulness and psychological wellbeing. The findings were discussed in light of the literature, and the implications were presented for increasing school counselors' psychological wellbeing based on mindfulness and psychological flexibility research and applications.
... For example, one meta-analysis suggested that EA may account for 16%-28% of the variance in health-related outcomes (Hayes et al., 2006). In addition, EA mediates the effects of a wide array of risk factors on psychological disorders (Kashdan et al., 2006). Several large-scale meta-analyses have indicated that ACT interventions are more effective in treating various forms of psychological suffering than control conditions (e.g., Bai et al., 2020;Hayes et al., 2006;Levin et al., 2012;Powers et al., 2009;Ö st, 2008) and may even outperform traditional "gold standard" CBT approaches in the treatment of some forms of anxiety and depression (e.g., Ruiz, 2012). ...
Article
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Experiential avoidance is conceptualized as a core psychopathological process in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Much of the empirical support for the theoretical conceptualization and efficacy of ACT interventions is based on operationally defining experiential avoidance as scores on the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (AAQ-II; Bond et al., 2011) and its predecessor, the AAQ (Hayes et al., 2004). However, both measures have been criticized for exhibiting poor discriminant validity from measures of related constructs. The present study sought to evaluate the incremental predictive validity of the AAQ-II for symptoms of panic, social anxiety, generalized anxiety, obsessive compulsive, and posttraumatic stress disorders after controlling for neuroticism, functional impairment, life satisfaction, anxiety sensitivity, quality of life, positive and negative affect, and distress tolerance in a large sample of adults (n = 552). A series of hierarchical regression analyses revealed that AAQ-II scores uniquely predicted anxiety symptoms over and above measures of related constructs for all outcomes except social anxiety. Relative weights analysis revealed that the AAQ-II accounted for 10.5–17.5% of the variance in outcome scores explained by regression models and emerged as one of the top three predictors by relative weight in all five models. The present findings support the empirical and clinical utility of the AAQ-II and indicate that its predictive power for anxiety disorder symptomology is not simply attributable to overlap with measures of related constructs.
... Although work-related psychological flexibility, the mediating effect of which between the independent and dependent variables was investigated in this study, has not been studied much yet as a new concept, there are studies in which the mediating effect of psychological flexibility variable was investigated. Studies show that psychological flexibility is positively correlated with psychological wellbeing (Kashdan & Rottenberg, 2010;Masuda & Tully, 2011) and negatively correlated with depression (Bond & Bunce, 2000), anxiety (Kashdan et al., 2006) and general psychological distress (Bond & Bunce, 2003). In the literature, there are studies examining the mediating role of psychological flexibility in relation to mindfulness. ...
... The prosocial behaviors include being more empathic, forgiving, helpful, and supportive to others alongside seeking less materialistic achievements (McCullough et al., 2002). The mutual exchange of prosocial behaviors and gratitude is prime to a more meaningful life (Kashdan et al., 2006). ...
Article
Gratitude has gained attention among health researchers for its benefits among chronic illness. However, most of the studies were focusing on the positive effects, neglecting the complex dimensions of gratitude that can contribute to both opportunities and challenges for chronic illness patients. This study aims to understand gratitude among cancer patients in Malaysia from a sociocultural perspective. This includes understanding how cancer patients view gratitude and the impacts of gratitude throughout their cancer-battling journey. This qualitative study involved 35 cancer patients. A thematic analysis was done to analyze the collected data. Among the themes discovered were searching for meaning, meaningful experience, gratitude through the enrichment activities, and gratitude as religious cultural expectations. This study suggests that gratitude is an important experience for chronic illness patients. The ability to understand this experience is vital to support and empower the patients throughout their daily lives.
... When the environmental context requires changes to active coping strategies, inflexible individuals still rely on the same strategy, regardless of its function and results; this simply adds to inflexible individuals' burden (Karekla & Panayiotou, 2011;Rueda & Valls, 2020). Expending more resources on the avoidance process makes the avoidance strategy inflexible (Kashdan et al., 2006), and attempts to suppress and avoid emotions are often excessive and even increase the frequency of thoughts and feelings that cause distress (Gross, 2002). Then, high stress causes individuals to perceive the situation as a threat and to become inflexible in determining coping strategies (Gomes et al., 2013). ...
Article
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) has greatly impacted people‘s lives, including those of students in higher education, who have experienced drastic changes causing high levels of stress and decreased well-being. The relationship between stress and well-being can be viewed through the lens of psychological flexibility and loneliness. Individuals who experience high stress tend to be psychologically inflexible and have avoidant/maladaptive coping strategies. As a result, they are also vulnerable to loneliness, which ultimately results in decreased in well-being. In this study, of 945 student-participants, 43.28% met the criterion for high loneliness, 21.9% reported high perceived stress, 69.8% reflected high psychological inflexibility, and their mean score for well-being was 54.45. Serial mediation analysis found that psychological flexibility and loneliness partially mediate the relationship between stress and well-being. However, stress can affect well-being directly but also indirectly through psychological inflexibility and loneliness. A high level of stress, with a low level of psychological flexibility, results in a high level of loneliness; hence well-being decreases. Interventions promoting psychological flexibility can help individuals adapt and cope with difficult situations during the pandemic.
... Conversely, while individuals actively try to inhibit emotionally expressive behaviour through expressive suppression (Gross & Levenson, 1993), it requires substantial individual's personal resources, i.e., effort, energy, and duration in their attempt to escape unpleasant emotions or experiences (Kashdan et al., 2006). If he or she is involved in a less meaningful thought process (Ward et al., 2008), this can in turn expose the individual towards the risks of physical and social consequences (Quartana & Burns, 2007;Butler, Lee & Gross, 2007). ...
Article
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The frustration-aggression theorists generally posit aggression based on the influence of negative emotion or affect. Recently, investigation on the principles that influence the tendencies for aggressive responses play out in the mediating pathway, with the context that negative affect may or may not directly lead to aggression. Within the exploration at modifying the frustration-aggression concept, emotional regulation is an identified mechanism that buffers aggression resulting from negative emotional experiences. In turn, this has challenged the traditional frustration-aggression theory that indicates frustration (negative affect) does not always lead to aggression, in the case where the intense emotion from the relevant external situation has a chance to be modulated. However, little studies have documented the role of emotional regulation on negative affect and aggression. Therefore, this paper presents the nature of negative affect and emotional regulation strategies on aggression, while relating their pathway based on the contemporary General Aggression Model (GAM). We utilised the Google Scholar as the database in locating the relevant articles, with the terms focused on “Emotional Regulation” AND “Negative Affect” OR “Negative Mood” OR “Negative Emotion” AND “Aggression”. Reviews on the past studies that have investigated the role of emotional regulation on the relationship between aspects of negative affect and aggression are also discussed. Emotional regulation has been consistently identified as an important mechanism that mediates the effect on negative emotional state on aggressive behaviours. Future studies are suggested to further investigate the inherent strategies of emotional regulation and taps into different forms of negative affect, besides anger, on aggression.
... Moreover, intolerance of uncertainty (Wheaton, Messner, & Marks, 2021), experiential avoidance, emotional reactivity, and depression-anxiety (Seçer & Ulaş, 2020), fear and/or anxiety (Ji et al., 2020), and pre-pandemic insomnia symptoms (Cox & Olatunji, 2021) have been suggested as processes involved in the formation of OCD during the pandemic. The role of experiential avoidance, which is, according to Kashdan, Barrios, Forsyth, and Steger (2006), the "excessive negative evaluations of unwanted private thoughts, feelings, and sensations, an unwillingness to experience these private events, and deliberate efforts to control or escape from them" (p. 1301), is further supported by the longitudinal study by Jelinek, Göritz et al. (2021). ...
Article
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has particularly affected people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Exacerbation of obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) has been suspected for those with contamination-related OCD (C-OCD). However, the course of OCS over the ongoing pandemic remains unclear. We assessed 268 participants with OCD (n = 184 with C-OCD) in an online survey at the beginning of the pandemic in Germany, reassessing 179 participants (66.8%, 104 C-OCD) three months later. We assessed severity of OCD (OCI-R), depression (PHQ-9), experiential avoidance, as well as functional and dysfunctional beliefs. Overall, OCS and depressive symptoms did not substantially change over time. However, when people with and without C-OCD were compared, symptoms improved in patients without C-OCD (nC-OCD) but remained stable in patients with C-OCD over time. Symptom improvement was associated with male gender, higher initial OCI-R, and nC-OCD. Experiential avoidance and beliefs at the beginning of the pandemic did not generally predict change in OCS. People with OCD, particularly those with nC-OCD, showed tentative signs for signs of adapting, whereas distress in those with C-OCD remained at a high level, underlining the burden for these patients. Clinicians should be informed about how to maintain effective treatment for C-OCD during a pandemic.
... ACT assumes that psychological distress arises from attempts to alter uncomfortable internal experiences (i.e., thoughts and emotions), resulting in maladaptive behavior (S. C. Hayes et al., 2011). This evasion of one's internal experience, called experiential avoidance, has emerged as a transdiagnostic risk factor suitable to be targeted in prevention programs (Kashdan et al., 2006). Indeed, ACT has proven its applicability in the prevention and treatment of a wide range of problems with medium-to-large effect sizes in samples studied (Powers et al., 2009). ...
Article
We randomly assigned 71 student participants to an acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) group training or to a wait list. All participants completed measures at preintervention, 1-month postintervention, and 2-month follow-up. Students receiving ACT exhibited significantly reduced levels of general psychological distress and negative emotional symptoms at follow-up. Mental health outcomes for ACT were mediated by increases in psychological flexibility and mindfulness. Results suggest that ACT group training could be an effective mental health intervention in educational settings.
... Experiential avoidance as a short-term strategy can be useful to manage unwanted emotions associated with certain situations, but it can be harmful if it is generalized to other situations and falls into an inflexible pattern. Many studies have found the association between experiential avoidance and behavioural problems, such as maladaptive coping (Kashdan et al., 2006). Also, experiential avoidance is associated with Internet addiction (Chou et al., 2017;Hsieh et al., 2019). ...
Article
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Internet addiction is an important mental health problem among university students. This study aimed to examine the relationship between shame and Internet addiction and investigate the mediating role of experiential avoidance in undergraduate students. A total of 307 undergraduate students (210 females and 97 males) were recruited. Shame was examined using the Self-conscious Affect-3 Test. Experiential avoidance was evaluated using the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-ӀӀ (AAQ-II). Internet addiction was assessed using the Young Internet Addiction test (IAT). Findings revealed significant associations between shame, experiential avoidance, and Internet addiction. In addition, the results of structural equation modelling demonstrated the mediating role of experiential avoidance in the relationship between shame and Internet addiction. The results suggest that the experts working on Internet addiction consider the shame and experiential avoidance. Early discovery and intervention of shame and experiential avoidance can be incorporated into programmes intending to reduce the risk of Internet addiction. ARTICLE HISTORY
... Son objectif est de changer la perception que la personne a de ses pensé es, é motions, sensations, et même le rapport entretenu avec ces manifestations [26]. Parmi les mé canismes ciblé s par l'ACT, il existerait un phé nomè ne commun aux troubles psychopathologiques [6,7,18,19,24,25,28] : l'é vitement expé rientiel. Ce dernier a é té dé fini par Hayes et al. [15] comme « la volonté de ne pas rester en contact avec des expé riences privé es particuliè res (e.g. ...
... A consensus appears to be emerging that what is most needed is enough healthy psychological distance from thought, so that beliefs and cognitive constructions are not excessively entangling, either through avoidance and suppression, or attachment and rigid adoption 81,82 . In addition, what is needed is enough cognitive flexibility 81 , so that an array of possibly useful constructions are available in a given situation and the person can learn what is most useful in that context. ...
Article
For decades, cognitive and behavioral therapies (CBTs) have been tested in randomized controlled trials for specific psychiatric syndromes that were assumed to represent expressions of latent diseases. Although these protocols were more effective as compared to psychological control conditions, placebo treatments, and even active pharmacotherapies, further advancement in efficacy and dissemination has been inhibited by a failure to focus on processes of change. This picture appears now to be evolving, due both to a collapse of the idea that mental disorders can be classified into distinct, discrete categories, and to the more central attention given to processes of change in newer, so-called “third-wave” CBTs. Here we review the context for this historic progress and evaluate the impact of these newer methods and models, not as protocols for treating syndromes, but as ways of targeting an expanded range of processes of change. Five key features of “third-wave” therapies are underlined: a focus on context and function; the view that new models and methods should build on other strands of CBT; a focus on broad and flexible repertoires vs. an approach to signs and symptoms; applying processes to the clinician, not just the client; and expanding into more complex issues historically more characteristic of humanistic, existential, analytic, or system-oriented approaches. We argue that these newer methods can be considered in the context of an idiographic approach to process-based functional analysis. Psychological processes of change can be organized into six dimensions: cognition, affect, attention, self, motivation and overt behavior. Several important processes of change combine two or more of these dimensions. Tailoring intervention strategies to target the appropriate processes in a given individual would be a major advance in psychiatry and an important step toward precision mental health care.
... Sairanen et al. (2018) studied parents of children with chronic conditions and found that psychological inflexibility is a potent indicator of psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, burnout, and stress. This data is congruent with numerous other studies (Kashdan et al., 2006), indicating that psychological flexibility in its reversed form, is a vital mechanism in psychological disorders. ...
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Rationale. With social distancing and work from home the COVID-19 (WHO, 2020) pandemic has created a new reality for parents worldwide and brought along significant challenges in their lives. In particular, the process of mothering has been affected during the COVID-19 pandemic with higher physical and emotional labour and a greater responsibility for managing care of the children and household without the usual support system in place. Objective. The primary objective of the current study was to explore the mediating role of Psychological Inflexibility (PI) between the relationship of Parenting Stress (PS) and Self-Compassion (SC) among Indian mothers with children aged under 10 years during the COVID-19 pandemic. Design. Self-reported measures of PI, PS and SC through respective scales were used to collect data from N=552 Indian mothers. Results. The data analysis was indicative of a positive relationship between Self-compassion and Parental Stress and Self-compassion and Psychological Inflexibility. Psychological Inflexibility was found to positively mediate the relationship between Parental Stress and Self Compassion with the mediating effect being close to 31%. Conclusion. Increased parenting stress could have propelled mothers to be more self-compassionate in order to cope with the stress induced by the pandemic.
... To illustrate the different degrees of adaptivity of ER and coping strategies, we can observe that, on the adaptive pole, the term reappraisal indicates both a classical, effective ER strategy (Aldao et al., 2010) and a prominent form of coping (Kashdan et al., 2006). More specifically, reappraisal involves consciously challenging distorted thoughts and considering alternate perspectives related to a stressful situation as a way of reducing distress, and the results are detectable in the individual's positive emotional and physical responses to emotion-eliciting stimuli (Gross, 1998a). ...
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Objective: Psychotherapy fragmentation constitutes a significant barrier to progress. In the present article, we argue that emotion regulation processes operate across psychotherapy approaches, serving as an overarching meta-factor of therapeutic change. Method: Two major therapeutic approaches-psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioural-were examined through the lens of emotion regulation theory. In particular, key constructs within each approach were analyzed in terms of relevant emotion regulation processes. Results: Emotion regulation processes are an overarching meta-factor relevant to a wide range of therapeutic constructs (e.g., defence mechanisms, internal working models, coping strategies, ruptures/reparations of alliance). Different clinical traditions emphasize different aspects of emotion regulation, mainly in terms of implicit vs explicit emotion regulation processes. Conclusions: An integrative emotion regulation perspective contributes to our understanding of the core change mechanisms of psychotherapy, with significant implications both for research and clinical practice.
... The K10 is validated, and normative data are available for Australia69 . The K10 scores are categorised as low(10)(11)(12)(13)(14)(15), moderate(16)(17)(18)(19)(20)(21), high(22)(23)(24)(25)(26)(27)(28)(29), and very high (30-50) psychological distress70 . The K10 showed excellent generalisable reliability (McDonald's ω = 0.94, 95% CI [0.94, 0.95]). ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to an increase in psychological distress. However, protective factors such as social support, psychological flexibility, and coping mechanisms can help individuals cope with the effects of psychological distress. This study aimed to test a recent hypothesis suggesting that psychological flexibility is not necessarily a coping strategy but a mechanism that can influence the coping strategies an individual employs during stressful events. We tested a mediation model that COVID-19 concerns would contribute to higher levels of perceived social support, which would directly increase psychological flexibility, and finally test if the effect of psychological flexibility on distress was mediated by approach and avoidant coping strategies. The results show that social support facilitates higher levels of psychological flexibility. Further, that psychological flexibility indirectly reduces psychological distress by reducing avoidant coping and increasing approach coping strategies. Within the context of COVID-19, we have shown the importance of social support and psychological flexibility for reducing distress. We have provided further evidence that psychological flexibility might not be a coping mechanism but a strategy that leads individuals to engage in more approach coping strategies and fewer avoidant coping strategies.
... According to Hayes et al. (1996Hayes et al. ( , 1999, both CF and EA are critical "toxic processes" that mediate the impact of various disorder-specific and transdiagnostic factors on anxiety and depression symptoms (Eifert & Forsyth, 2005;Kashdan et al., 2006). More specifically, CF and EA were found to mediate the association of repetitive negative thinking patterns (Cookson et al., 2020), self-critical perfectionism (Moroz & Dunkley, 2015), and shame memories (Dinis et al., 2015) with different forms of psychological distress. ...
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The study of Time has a long history, dating back to the earliest days of psychological science in the late 1800s. However, the conceptualization of time perspective has led to a better understanding of individuals' healthy and pathological attitudes toward time dimensions. Similarly, articulated psychological inflexibility components (i.e., Experiential Avoidance (EA) and Cognitive Fusion (CF)) have been found to have solid links with psychopathology, specifically psychological distress. The purpose of this study was to examine the serial mediating functions of EA and CF in the association between Deviation from Balanced Time Perspective (DBTP) and Depression and Anxiety symptoms. Also, a reversed model of serial mediation was tested. A total of 203 participants (155 female) aged between 17–73 (M = 28.45, SD = 11.43) completed measures of time perspective, CF, EA, anxiety, and depression. CF and EA functioned as mediators between DBTP and depression/anxiety in the first mediation model. However, in the reversed model, only the mediation effect for depression was observed. These results emphasize the need for tailoring treatments to the requirements of patients struggling with anxiety and depression symptoms, who may be more susceptible to imbalanced time perspectives and time-entrapped cognitive processes.
... Additionally, while other work has focused on the links between misinformation and (lack of) adherence to public health rules (Roozenbeek et al., 2020), or how factors such as perceived lack of control may lead one to espouse conspiratorial views (Oleksy et al., 2021), in the present study we were able to shed light on the potential vulnerabilities of different self-regulatory styles on adoption of preventative behaviors. Although speculative, it is possible that the greater rule-breaking associated with assessment was a maladaptive coping response to the heightened uncertainty and ambiguity of this pandemic; in other words, assessment-oriented individuals may not be breaking rules out of blatant disregard for health guidelines, but because desperate people may engage in desperate actions as a way to cope (Kashdan et al., 2006). Prior research suggests that assessment-oriented individuals are particularly concerned with making suboptimal decisions (Chen et al., 2019) and are especially sensitive to social norms Mannetti et al., 2012). ...
... In fact, in a study on the mediating effect of experiential avoidance and psychological resilience during COVID-19, it was found that fear of COVID-19 negatively affects psychological adjustment; but psychological resilience has a protective function that limits this effect, and experiential avoidance is a risk factor that increases this effect (Seçer et al., 2020). It is observed in different studies that experiential avoidance has a mediating role in the relationship between variables such as self-attention and social anxiety (Glick & Orsillo, 2011); dysfunctional perfectionism and anxiety (Santanello & Gardner, 2007); eating disorders and suicide attempts (Skinner et al., 2016), and coping strategies and anxiety (Kashdan et al., 2006), which are risk factors for psychological resilience and which will prevent the satisfaction of psychological and the highest score is 100. (Karaırmak, 2010). ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic that has impinged upon the world affects individuals not only physically but also psychologically. Considering the effects of the pandemic that can be called a challenging life event, the concept of psychological resilience comes to mind. In this study, the effect of multidimensional avoidance on the relationship between psychological resilience and psychological need satisfaction-frustration of adults is discussed through structural equation modeling. The study data were collected online from 506 adults who participated voluntarily from 7 different geographical regions of Turkey. The study findings were obtained by using correlation analysis, structural equation modeling, and path analysis. As a result of the study, it is seen that all the variables of multidimensional avoidance except distraction/suppression and frustration directly affect psychological resilience in satisfaction and frustration of basic psychological needs. In addition, it shows that psychological resilience has a significant effect on satisfaction and frustration of basic psychological needs, both directly and indirectly through multidimensional avoidance.
... The findings of this current study were in parallel with the previous research in terms of the significant correlations between job satisfaction, psychological well-being and work-related psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility in general was found to be correlated with depression (Kashdan, Barrios, Forsyth, and Steger, 2006), substance use (Albal, 2019), anxiety and generalized anxiety disorders (Lee et al., 2010;Sharp, 2012). Specifically, psychological flexibility was found to be significantly in relationship with job satisfaction in previous studies (Bond & Bunce, 2003;Bond & Flaxman, 2006). ...
Article
Bu çalışmanın amacı, okul psikolojik danışmanlarının mesleki doyumları ile psikolojik iyi oluşları arasındaki ilişkide iş yaşamı psikolojik esnekliğinin aracılık rolünü yapısal eşitlik modellemesi (YEM) ile incelemektir. İlişkisel araştırma yönteminin kullanıldığı bu çalışmanın örneklemini 291'i kadın, 114'ü erkek olmak üzere toplam 405 (M = 29,79, SS = 6,99) okul psikolojik danışmanı oluşturmaktadır. Araştırmada veri toplama aracı olarak Kişisel Bilgi Formu, Mesleki Doyum Ölçeği, Psikolojik İyi Oluş Ölçeği, İş Yaşamı Kabul ve Eylem Formu kullanılmıştır. Araştırmada kurulan modelin analiz sonuçlarına göre mesleki doyumun, psikolojik iyi oluş ve iş yaşamı psikolojik esnekliğini anlamlı bir şekilde yordadığı belirlenmiştir. Ayrıca yapısal eşitlik modellemesi doğrultusunda gerçekleştirilen analiz sonucunda iş yaşamı psikolojik esnekliğinin, mesleki doyum ve psikolojik iyi oluş arasındaki ilişkide kısmi bir aracı etkiye sahip olduğu anlaşılmıştır. Okul psikolojik danışmanlarının psikolojik iyi oluş düzeylerindeki varyansın %11'inin iş yaşamı psikolojik esnekliği tarafından açıklandığı sonucuna ulaşılmıştır. Araştırmada elde edilen bulgular, güncel alan yazın ışığında tartışılmıştır. Araştırmanın bulguları doğrultusunda ilgili öneriler sunulmuştur. Anahtar Kelimeler: psikolojik iyi oluş, mesleki doyum, iş yaşamı psikolojik esnekliği, okul psikolojik danışmanları. Abstract: The main aim of this study is to investigate the mediating role of work-related psychological flexibility in the relationship between job satisfaction and psychological well-being of school counselors by using structural equation model (SEM). This study was based on a correlational design. The sample of this study consisted of 405 (M= 29.79, SD= 6.99) school counselors and 291 of them were females, 114 of them were males. In terms of data collection tools, demographic information form, Job Satisfaction Scale, Psychological Well-Being Scale, and Work-related Acceptance and Action Questionnaire were used. As a result of model test analysis job satisfaction significantly predicted both work-related psychological flexibility and psychological well-being of school counselors. The results of the SEM analysis revealed that work-related psychological flexibility had a partial mediating role between job satisfaction and psychological flexibility. Additionally, work-related psychological flexibility explained the 11% of variance in the psychological well-being of school counselors. The findings of this study were discussed in the light of current literature and implications were also presented.
... Thus, we did not pursue control or change in emotion, but attempted to change how they interacted with these emotions. The use of emotion regulation strategies directed at modifying or changing emotions is common in psychological problems [90], but may provide responses of emotional invalidation, both in the client and in others (in this case, the children). Work on experiential acceptance of emotions and thoughts that arise during parenting or management of behavior problems is therefore of special relevance. ...
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Psychological flexibility has been found as a protective factor for several psychological problems, including the field of parenting. The present study aims to illustrate a clinical protocol, session by session, for the promotion of parental psychological flexibility and emotion regulation in a case study. The clinical protocol is based on third-wave behavior therapy in a brief intervention of four sessions. The intervention is presented in a clinical case of a mother with a child diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Both mother and child experienced problems with emotional regulation and psychological flexibility. The results show clinically significant improvements in psychological flexibility, emotional regulation, and stress parenting in the mother both after the intervention and at follow-up. In the child, emotional perspective-taking skills, acceptance, and valued actions improved. The case illustrates in detail the application of different strategies of acceptance, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and emotional defusion applicable to parenting. Clinical implications are discussed.
... On the other hand, psychological inflexibility refers to a rigid tendency to control aversive private events, such as memories, feelings, or thoughts, by avoiding or escaping from them (Kashdan and Rottenberg, 2010;Levin et al., 2014;Gloster et al., 2017). Thus, psychological inflexibility represents a form of generalized psychological vulnerability (Kashdan et al., 2006;Kashdan and Rottenberg, 2010;Levin et al., 2014) associated with greater depressive symptoms (Kato, 2016), anxiety, psychopathological conditions, and an increased risk for the deterioration of mental (Hernández-López et al., 2021) and physical health (Spatola et al., 2014). ...
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Background: The current mental health state of healthcare professionals and students during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ecuador remains understudied and how to improve their mental health is a challenge. Objective: This study aimed to explore the anxiety and depressive symptomatology among healthcare students and professionals in Ecuador and to examine the role of psychological inflexibility, loneliness, and psychological stress as predictors of anxiety and depression symptoms. Methods: A total of 191 undergraduate and graduate healthcare students in clinical practice (early-career healthcare professionals) in Ecuador were surveyed between January and March 2021 using standardized measures of psychological stress (PSS), psychological inflexibility (AAQ), loneliness (UCLA), alcohol consumption (AUDIT-C), and anxiety and depressive symptomatology (PHQ). Macro Process for SPSS (models 4 and 7) were used to test mediation effects. Results: Alcohol consumption varied between men and women and anxiety and depression symptomatology was generally low among the sample. Psychological inflexibility and loneliness mediated the impact of stress on anxiety and depressive mood in participants, regardless of gender and previous personal history of COVID-19. Discussion: Implications of psychological inflexibility and the prevention and coping with stress in healthcare professionals during COVID-19 are further discussed.
... Third, although we demonstrate an overall relationship between higher linguistic distance and reduced symptoms, it is possible that distancing is not always an adaptive strategy. Indeed, substantial data show that "experiential avoidance" (i.e., pushing away internal or external stressors; ostensibly increasing distance) is maladaptive, whereas mindfully attending to the present moment (ostensibly decreasing distance) is adaptive (49)(50)(51)(52). Similarly, depression and anxiety are stereotypically seen as disorders in which people are overly focused on past losses or future threats, respectively. ...
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Significance Using language to “distance” ourselves from distressing situations (i.e., by talking less about ourselves and the present moment) can help us manage emotions. Here, we translate this basic research to discover that such “linguistic distancing” is a replicable measure of mental health in a large set of therapy transcripts ( N = 6,229). Additionally, clustering techniques showed that language alone could identify participants who differed on both symptom severity and treatment outcomes. These findings lay the foundation for 1) tools that can rapidly identify people in need of psychological services based on language alone and 2) linguistic interventions that can improve mental health.
... Moreover, studies have found that different emotion regulation strategies have different effects on depression (Silk et al., 2003;Zhou et al., 2015). For example, some studies reported that adolescents with a cognition reappraisal strategy were at a low risk of depression, while adolescents with an expressive suppression strategy were at a high risk of depression (Kash et al., 2006;Kudinova et al., 2017). Gross's study also indicated that depression was less among adolescents using cognitive reappraisal (Gross & John, 2003). ...
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Parent–child attachment is significantly correlated with various mental problems, such as depression, among adolescents. However, very few studies have explored individual factors’ protective effects on the relationship between parent–child attachment and depression among Chinese adolescents. The current study aimed to examine the mediating role of emotion regulation strategies and the moderating role of beliefs about adversity between parent–child attachment and depression. Data from a stratified random sample of 408 secondary school students were collected and a moderated mediation model was applied. The results indicate that parent–child attachment predicts depression among adolescents directly as well as through emotion regulation strategies (cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression). Moreover, beliefs about adversity moderate the association between regulation strategies and depression. Specifically, contrary to adolescents with high beliefs about adversity, those with low beliefs about adversity are at a lower risk of depression when they regulate their emotions with cognitive reappraisal. Contrary to adolescents with high beliefs about adversity, adolescents with low beliefs about adversity are more likely to face depression when they use expressive suppression strategy. Based on the above findings, enhancing parent–child attachment, guiding adolescents to use positive emotion regulation strategy (cognitive reappraisal), or modestly cultivating adversity beliefs can decrease adolescents’ depression.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the mental health of many individuals and has caused global increases in psychological distress. Research has shown that social support, psychological flexibility, and coping mechanisms are important protective factors against psychological distress. However, recent evidence suggested that psychological flexibility might not be a coping mechanism but could be the mechanisms to determine the type of coping approach an individual will employ during stressful events. In this study, we test a novel theoretical mediation model to identify if, during stressful events (i.e., COVID-19), individuals perceived level of social support directly increases their psychological flexibility; and if the effect of psychological flexibility on psychological distress is mediated by approach and avoidant coping strategies. To test the model, 360 participants completed the following surveys: COVID-19 concerns scale, the multidimensional scale of perceived social support, the comprehensive assessment of acceptance and commitment therapy, and the brief COPE. Results show that most participants report a high level of psychological distress. One novel finding in our study was the mediating role of coping mechanism between psychological flexibility and psychological distress. Our results partially confirm that psychological flexibility might influence the type of coping an individual will employ during stressful events. Within the context of COVID-19, we have shown that social support, psychological flexibility and the types of coping mechanisms individuals employ have an impact on their levels of psychological distress. However, we argue that the proposed model could be applied to other stressful events.
Article
I respond to an objection recently formulated by Barlassina and Hayward against first-order imperativism about pain, according to which it cannot account for the self-directed motivational force of pain. I am going to agree with them: it cannot. This is because pain does not have self-directed motivational force. I will argue that the alternative view—that pain is about dealing with extramental, bodily threats, not about dealing with itself—makes better sense of introspection, and of empirical research on pain avoidance. Also, a naturalistic theory of body-involving commands falls straightforwardly out of our most prominent naturalistic metasemantic accounts, while the token-reflexive contents that would underlie self-directed motivation are more problematic.
Article
While many children and adolescents experience psychological problems with up to 20 percent estimated to develop a mental health problem, only few receive treatment. Online interventions can help respond to the need of support among young people without requiring considerable resources. However, relatively few studies have examined the efficacy of online interventions for youth and more research is needed to understand individual differences in benefiting from these interventions. The current study sought to examine different developmental trajectories of experiential avoidance and depressive symptoms and their association to health behaviors measured at baseline during a brief guided online acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) intervention implemented in the school context. A total of 123 ninth grade adolescents aged 14-16 years completed the five-week intervention including online support. The mixture modeling identified three separate sub-groups based on baseline and changes during the intervention: 1) high and decreasing experiential avoidance and depressive symptoms (16 %), 2) average and stable experiential avoidance and depressive symptoms (36 %) and 3) low experiential avoidance and mildly decreasing depressive symptoms (46 %). The results show that two thirds of adolescents benefited during online ACT, with the adolescents with high initial symptoms benefiting more than adolescents with low initial symptoms. Finally, adolescents following the trajectory of high and decreasing experiential avoidance and depressive symptoms during the intervention reported poorer health and sleep, higher substance abuse and less physical activity before the intervention than adolescents from other trajectories. The results suggest that guided online ACT may significantly reduce experiential avoidance and depressive symptoms among those adolescents reporting high-risk health behaviors, high depressive symptoms and experiential avoidance at baseline.
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Background Emotion regulation flexibility is a person's tendency to shift their use of emotion regulation strategies in response to contextual demands. A lack of flexibility is thought to underlie affective disorders, yet conceptualizations of “flexibility” vary widely, and few studies have empirically assessed flexibility. In this study, we outline methods for measuring emotion regulation flexibility and then examine evidence for inflexibility in people with a common affective disorder: social anxiety disorder (SAD). Methods Participants were community adults diagnosed with SAD and a psychologically healthycontrol group who completed a 14-day experience-sampling study. Participants recorded their most anxiety-provoking event each day, how they evaluated contextual demands (i.e., perceived controllability, emotional intensity) of these events, and their use of seven emotion regulation strategies to manage anxiety. Hypotheses and analyses were preregistered with the Open Science Framework (https://osf.io/s7kqj/). Results Participants with SAD demonstrated some evidence of inflexibility. They used three disengagement strategies (rumination, thought suppression, expressive suppression) more often than controls and did so independently of contextual demands (specifically, perceived controllability). Nonetheless, participants with SAD largely demonstrated similar regulatory patterns as controls, most notably in their use of engagement strategies (acceptance, cognitive, reappraisal, problem-solving). Limitations We measured two of many possible contextual demands, did not compare to a mixed clinical group or other affective disorders (e.g., depression), and did not assess temporal sequences of strategy use. Conclusions People with SAD demonstrate some inflexibility in their use of disengagement regulation strategies.
Article
The COVID-19 crisis has had repercussions on global mental wellbeing. This study aimed: (1) to identify the mediating role of psychological process variables, namely psychological mindedness, psychological mindfulness, and psychological inflexibility on the relationship between dysfunctional coping and psychopathologies in Indonesian undergraduate students subjected to national quarantine orders throughout July, 2020 and (2) to compare the level of anxiety, depression, and anxiety between Indonesian and Malaysian undergraduate students. A cross-sectional study was performed with 869 Indonesian undergraduate students from Nahdlatul Ulama University of Surabaya (UNUSA) and 515 undergraduate students from Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS). The BIPM, MAAS, AAQ-I, DASS-21, and Brief COPE were used to assess the research variables. The proportion who scored “moderate” and above for depression, anxiety, and stress were 20.2%, 25.0%, and 14.2%, respectively, in Malaysian samples and 22.2%, 35.0%, and 23.48% in Indonesian samples. In Study 1, psychological mindedness, psychological mindfulness, and psychological inflexibility significantly mediated the relationship between dysfunctional coping and psychopathologies. In Study 2, Indonesians demonstrated significantly higher anxiety and stress compared to Malaysian samples. Despite the contrasting COVID-19 situations in Malaysia and Indonesia, psychopathologies were more affected in Indonesia. Hence, our study suggests how crucial it is for mental health providers to consider promoting psychological mindedness, psychological mindfulness, and psychological flexibility to alleviate the corresponding psychopathologies among undergraduate students.
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Psychological inflexibility has been linked to a variety of mental health disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The purpose of this cross-sectional self-report study was to examine how psychological inflexibility, along with closely related concepts such as mindfulness and self-compassion, are associated with PTSD among a clinical sample using PTSD DSM-5 criteria. A sample of 200 veterans (mean age = 54.6; 71.0% male, 25.5% female) were recruited from mental health clinics within a Veteran Affairs Medical Center. Controlling for mindfulness and self-compassion, veterans with PTSD had significantly higher levels of psychological inflexibility compared to those without PTSD. In addition, psychological inflexibility was associated with overall PTSD severity, even after controlling for mindfulness, self-compassion, depression, alcohol and substance use, and demographic variables. The observing facet of mindfulness was significantly associated with higher levels of PTSD, while the describing facet was related to lower overall PTSD symptoms. Self-compassion was no longer associated with PTSD symptoms when controlling for other variables. These findings support the relationship between psychological inflexibility and DSM-5 PTSD. Targeting psychological inflexibility may be a key focal point in improving PTSD-related treatment outcomes.
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Abstract: Background and aim: Cancer is classified as a chronic disease. In spite of medical advances, cancer treatment and an increase in the number of cancer patients, it remains unique in terms of frustration and deep fear in the person. Parents of children with cancer are more likely to experience psychological problems than those of healthy children, such as anxiety, depression, and stress and, in general, mental health threats. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of acceptance and commitment therapy on the quality of life of mothers with a child with cancer. Methods: In the present quasi-experimental study, a pretest-posttest with control group, among mothers of children with cancer who referred to the Cancer Children's Support Center in Tehran in 216, 30 mothers were selected as on the basis of entry and exit criteria and was randomly assigned to experimental and control groups (each subgroup of 15 people). The quality of life of the subjects was assessed using the World Health Organization Quality of Life questionnaire (ANKOVA). Participants in the experimental group were exposed to acceptance and commitment treatment for 8 sessions, while patients in the control group received no treatment. Data were analyzed using one-variable covariance test (ANCOVA). Results: The mean and standard deviation of quality of life scores in the pre-testl group and in the pre-test were 70.4 ± 6.40 and 92.97 ± 13.35 respectively. In the control group, the mean and standard deviation of quality of life scores before and after the intervention were 69.07 ± 5.73 and68 ± 7.58. The results of one-variable covariance analysis indicated that acceptance and commitment therapy significantly improved the quality of life of the experimental group in the posttest (F = 45.35, p <0.01). Conclusion: Admission and commitment based interventions were effective in improving the quality of life of mothers of cancerous children. The treatment is recommended as an effective and appropriate treatment option to reduce the psychological problems of parents of children with chronic diseases. Keywords: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cancer, Quality of Life Cite: Baratian A, Kazemi AS, Davarniya R, Haghani Zemeidani M. The Effect of Acceptance and Commitment (ACT) Therapy on the Quality of Life of Mothers with a Child Cancer. Armaghane-danesh 2017; 22 (5): 637-650.
Article
Introduction: Image schemas are perceptual-motor simulations of the world that are likely to have broad importance in understanding models of the self and its regulatory operations. Methods: Seven samples of participants (total N = 1,011) rated their preferences for unspecified entities being “open” or “closed” and scores along this dimension were linked to variations in personality, emotion, and psychopathology. Results: Individuals endorsing closed preferences to a greater extent were prone to neuroticism (Study 1), experiential avoidance (Study 2), negative affect in daily life (Study 3), and symptoms of anxiety and depression (Study 4). Discussion: Although closed preferences are likely to be endorsed for protective reasons (inasmuch as the contents of closed objects are better protected), such preferences are linked to higher, rather than lower, levels of neuroticism and distress. The findings offer new evidence for theories of neuroticism and psychopathology that emphasize operations related to defensive motivation and experiential avoidance.
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The widespread effects of COVID-19 have dramatically increased the prevalence of mental health difficulties, meaning it is vital to explore psychotherapy options. Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT) helps individuals engage in meaningful activities despite difficult and unchangeable circumstances. Recent literature suggests that psychological flexibility, the underlying process of ACT, may moderate COVID-related distress – making ACT a promising psychotherapy candidate. This study therefore aimed to explore the effects of an ACT-based, guided self-help intervention on wellbeing, psychological flexibility, COVID-related distress, and general psychological distress within the general population. 48 participants (recruited via social media) engaged in a three-week, non-concurrent baseline phase, then received six, weekly, digital modules and weekly webinars to address module queries. 20 participants completed all modules and provided post-intervention feedback via an online qualitative survey. Multilevel modelling analysis found significant improvements in: wellbeing; overall psychological flexibility (including subscales behavioural awareness and valued action); and general psychological distress (including depression, anxiety and stress). No significant changes were found for COVID-related distress. Findings were sustained at one- and two-months follow-up – suggesting lasting change. Qualitative findings provide further insights about the experience of the intervention: participants reported improved wellbeing, still experiencing COVID-related distress, but felt more able to cope with general psychological distress (such as anxiety). No change in COVID-related distress scores may be due to methodological and measurement issues. This study is one of the first to explore ACT as a psychotherapeutic intervention for COVID-related distress and adds to the growing body of literature highlighting psychological flexibility as a key process for mitigating COVID-related distress.
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The Hispanic population is the largest minority group in the United States and frequently experiences racial discrimination and mental health difficulties. Prior work suggests that perceived racial discrimination is a significant risk factor for poorer mental health among Hispanic in the United States. However, little work has investigated how perceived racial discrimination relates to anxiety and depression among Hispanic adults. Thus, the current study evaluated the explanatory role of experiential avoidance in the relation between perceived racial discrimination and anxiety/depressive symptoms and disorders among Hispanic adults in primary care. Participants included 202 Spanish-speaking adults ( M age = 38.99, SD = 12.43, 86.1% female) attending a community-based Federally Qualified Health Center. Results were consistent with the hypothesis that perceived racial discrimination had a significant indirect effect on depression, social anxiety, and anxious arousal symptoms as well as the number of mood and anxiety disorders through experiential avoidance. These findings suggest future work should continue to explore experiential avoidance in the association between perceived racial discrimination and other psychiatric and medical problems among the Hispanic population.
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COVID-19 has affected people across the globe in psychosocial and economic aspects. This process has been difficult for most people, even more for some others including (teachers, administrators at educational settings) working in educational settings. The purpose of this study was to understand the predictive effect of psychosocial factors (gender, age, marital status, Additional Time Spent (ATS) on social media, ATS internet compared to the pre-COVID-19 pandemic and expert programs), and psychological inflexibility on depression and anxiety for teachers employed in the Ministry of Education during the pandemic. Participants included 514 adults (49% women). The findings of the study revealed that psychological factors and psychological inflexibility together explained 47% of the variance in depression and 42% of the variance in anxiety. Specifically, gender, social media and psychological inflexibility were significant predictors of both depression and anxiety during the pandemic. In addition to the predictive effect of psychosocial factors, these results indicated that psychological flexibility was important to develop further evidence based mental health services to address psychopathology and enhanced wellbeing. The findings of the study were discussed in the light of literature, and some suggestions were provided for future research and practice.
Thesis
This study consists of two separate studies. In the first study, the Turkish adaptation of the Beliefs About Emotions Questionnaire (BAEQ; Manser et al., 2012) was carried out. A total of 436 Turkish university students between the ages of 18-29 (M = 23.5, SD = 3.19) participated in the study. The findings showed that the data set confirmed the factor structure suggested for BAEQ with some modifications, and that the 37-item scale is a valid and reliable measurement tool that can be used by emotion regulation researchers and mental health professionals in Turkey. In the second study, a structural equation model was tested in order to better understand the relationships between trait/dispositional mindfulness, beliefs about emotions, adaptive and maladaptive emotion regulation strategies, and negative and positive mental health. A total of 608 Turkish university students between the ages of 18-29 (M = 23.14, SD = 2.89) participated in the study. The findings revealed that the indirect effect of trait/dispositional mindfulness on adaptive and maladaptive emotion regulation strategies as well as on positive and negative mental health through beliefs about emotions and the indirect effect of beliefs about emotions on negative and positive mental health through maladaptive and adaptive emotion regulation strategies were statistically significant. The present findings are discussed in accordance with the relevant literature.
Article
Objectives: The current study aims to investigate the indirect associations between experiential avoidance (EA) and burnout, wellbeing, and productivity loss (PL) via the mediating role of positive and negative emotions among police officers. Methods: Data were collected on 187 officers (84% male) aged 21-64 years between 2019 and 2020. Participants completed online self-report measures. Results: EA was indirectly associated with burnout via positive and negative affect. EA was indirectly associated with wellbeing through positive affect, positive affect and burnout, and negative affect and burnout. Finally, EA was indirectly associated with PL via positive affect and burnout, and negative affect and burnout. Conclusion: Results provide support for the role of EA in officers' wellbeing and job performance via increasing negative affect and decreasing positive affect. This highlights the importance of interventions, such as acceptance and commitment therapy that target acceptance and psychological flexibility.
Article
Background Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) or Social Phobia is characterized by fear and anxiety of social circumstances that negatively impact an individuals' occupational and relational life. There are several treatment options for this disorder ranging from pharmacological therapy to psychotherapies. In particular, the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy that practices acceptance and awareness strategies with behavior change strategies in order to increase an individual's mental flexibility, has been found to be effective. Therefore, we aimed to provide an overview of recent studies that examined ACT's efficacy in SAD, also taking into consideration the comparison with traditional Cognitive-behavioral Therapy (CBT) interventions. Methods A bibliographic search on PubMed, EMBASE and Scopus was conducted from inception to the 3rd of February 2022 of all studies investigating the effect of ACT in SAD individuals without any comorbidity. Among the articles retrieved, 11 met the inclusion criteria. Results From the reviewed studies, ACT may be considered a promising treatment of social phobia by improving attentional bias, awareness, emotion regulation, and safety/avoidance behaviors; however, the results have not yet demonstrated a valid alternative to the CBT. Limitations Only four studies considered a follow-up evaluation, which is paramount to exploring the effectiveness of ACT and several studies have a very small sample size. Concerning the review itself we only considered original English articles and we did not measure the risk of publication bias and the risk of bias between studies. Conclusions The results of this study suggest that ACT can be a promising treatment for improving selective psychological problems often observed in SAD. However, larger longitudinal studies further exploring the effectiveness of the behavioral and cognitive “third-wave” psychotherapies, based mainly on acceptance of SAD are necessary.
Article
Purpose This work assesses the contingent role of cognitive reappraisal on the link between supervisor incivility and psychological distress and examines the mediating role of psychological distress on the link between supervisor incivility and employee voice, namely, promotive and prohibitive. Design/methodology/approach The data were collected from 447 highly skilled employees of manufacturing companies. To evaluate the validity of the proposed hypotheses, the authors conducted hierarchical regression analysis and bootstrapping test. Findings The findings suggest that despite supervisor incivility, individuals with higher level of cognitive reappraisal are less likely to suffer from psychological distress, whereas individuals with a lower level of cognitive reappraisal are prone to psychological distress when individuals suffer from supervisor incivility. Moreover, the results indicate that psychological distress mediates the link between supervisor incivility and voice, namely, promotive and prohibitive. Originality/value This work is the first to investigate the contingency role of cognitive reappraisal on the link between supervisor incivility and psychological distress and the mediating role of psychological distress on the link between supervisor incivility and employee voice.
Article
The purpose of this study was to investigate the moderating role of trait mindfulness in the relationship between emotion regulation strategies and post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) among children and adolescents who experienced an explosion accident. A total of 712 participants, aged 7-15, (Mage = 11.45, SD = 1.77; 48.9% male) who have experienced an explosion accident completed the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire, the Trauma Screening Questionnaire and the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale. The results showed that trait mindfulness significantly moderated the relationship of the expressive suppression and PTSS under the control of sex, age, trauma exposure, and cognitive reappraisal strategy (β = -0.27, p < 0.05). However, the moderating effect of trait mindfulness between cognitive reappraisal strategy and PTSS was not significant (p> 0.05). Findings suggested that traumatized children with low levels of mindfulness may report severer PTSS when they adopt expressive suppression strategy.
Article
Background: Procrastination is a common and widespread phenomenon that affects 15-20% of the general population and 50% of students. Since developing and providing beneficial and effective interventions for procrastination needs a strong, comprehensive theoretical background explanation, the aim of the study was to assess the underlying transdiagnostic factors of procrastination and presenting a causal model. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 390 college students were asked to fill out a packet of self-report measures, which included the Pure procrastination scale, Difficulties in emotion regulation scale, Depression-anxiety-stress scales, Frost multidimensional perfectionism scale, Rumination response scale, Penn state worry questionnaire, Acceptance and action questionnaire. The causal model was tested using structural equation modeling (SEM). Results: Results of the SEM indicate that perfectionism was significantly associated with increasing emotion dysregulation (β=0.446, P<0.001) and emotion dysregulation was significantly associated with increasing anxiety (β=0.499, P<0.001) and depression (β=0.478, P<0.001), and then anxiety and depression with other variables, such as worry (β=0.245, P<0.001; β=0.004, P=0.935), rumination (β=0.046, P=0.424; β=0.418, P<0.001) and experiential avoidance (β=0.277, P<0.001; β=0.319, P<0.001) related to procrastination. Finally, worry has the most significant increasing effect on procrastination. The very small root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA=0.038), together with large values of comparative fit index (CFI=0.985), relative fit index (RFI=0.917), and normed fit index (NFI=0.979) indicated that the model was well fit. Conclusion: Perfectionism, emotion dysregulation, negative affects, worry, rumination, and experiential avoidance, known as transdiagnostic factors, had a causal relationship with procrastination, and reducing each transdiagnostic factor will improve procrastination. This study could be considered as a cornerstone for further studies on procrastination from a transdiagnostic approach.
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In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators. (46 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The present study describes the development of a short, general measure of experiential avoidance, based on a specific theoretical approach to this process. A theoretically driven iterative exploratory analysis using structural equation modeling on data from a clinical sample yielded a single factor comprising 9 items, A fully confirmatory factor analysis upheld this same 9-item factor in an independent clinical sample. The operational characteristics of the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (AAO) were then examined in 8 additional samples. All totaled, over 2,400
Article
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The present study describes the development of a short, general measure of experiential avoidance, based on a specific theoretical approach to this process. A theoretically driven iterative exploratory analysis using structural equation modeling on data from a clinical sample yielded a single factor comprising 9 items. A fully confirmatory factor analysis upheld this same 9-item factor in an independent clinical sample. The operational characteristics of the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (AAQ) were then examined in 8 additional samples. All totaled, over 2,400 participants were studied. As expected, higher levels of experiential avoidance were associated with higher levels of general psychopathology, depression, anxiety, a variety of specific fears, trauma, and a lower quality of life. The AAQ related to more specific measures of avoidant coping and to self-deceptive positivity, but the relation to psychopathology could not be fully accounted for by these alternative measures. The data provide some initial support for the model of experiential avoidance based on Relational Frame Theory that is incorporated into Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and provides researchers with a preliminary measure for use in population-based studies on experiential avoidance.
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Four studies demonstrate the psychometric adequacy and validity of scales designed to assess coping through emotional approach. In separate undergraduate samples, exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses of dispositional (Study 1) and situational (Study 3) coping item sets yielded 2 distinct emotional approach coping factors: emotional processing (i.e., active attempts to acknowledge and understand emotions) and emotional expression. The 2 scales yielded high internal consistency and test-retest reliability, as well as convergent and discriminant validity. A study (Study 2) of young adults and their parents established the scales' interjudge reliabilities. Longitudinal (Study 3) and experimental (Study 4) research supported the predictive validity of the emotional approach coping scales with regard to adjustment to stressful encounters. Findings highlight the utility of functionalist theories of emotion as applied to coping theory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Syndromal classification is a well-developed diagnostic system but has failed to deliver on its promise of the identification of functional pathological processes. Functional analysis is tightly connected to treatment but has failed to develop testable, replicable classification systems. Functional diagnostic dimensions are suggested as a way to develop the functional classification approach, and experiential avoidance is described as 1 such dimension. A wide range of research is reviewed showing that many forms of psychopathology can be conceptualized as unhealthy efforts to escape and avoid emotions, thoughts, memories, and other private experiences. It is argued that experiential avoidance, as a functional diagnostic dimension, has the potential to integrate the efforts and findings of researchers from a wide variety of theoretical paradigms, research interests, and clinical domains and to lead to testable new approaches to the analysis and treatment of behavioral disorders. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This study tested the hypothesis that coping through emotional approach, which involves actively processing and expressing emotions, enhances adjustment and health status for breast cancer patients. Patients ( n  = 92) completed measures within 20 weeks following medical treatment and 3 months later. Women who, at study entry, coped through expressing emotions surrounding cancer had fewer medical appointments for cancer-related morbidities, enhanced physical health and vigor, and decreased distress during the next 3 months compared with those low in emotional expression, with age, other coping strategy scores, and initial levels on dependent variables (except medical visits) controlled statistically. Expressive coping also was related to improved quality of life for those who perceived their social contexts as highly receptive. Coping through emotional processing was related to one index of greater distress over time. Analyses including dispositional hope suggested that expressive coping may serve as a successful vehicle for goal pursuit. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Aristotle's concept of eudaimonia and hedonic enjoyment constitute 2 philosophical conceptions of happiness. Two studies involving combined samples of undergraduate and graduate students (Study 1, n = 209; Study 2, n = 249) were undertaken to identify the convergent and divergent aspects of these constructs. As expected, there was a strong positive correlation between personal expressiveness (eudaimonia) and hedonic enjoyment. Analyses revealed significant differences between the 2 conceptions of happiness experienced in conjunction with activities for the variables of (1) opportunities for satisfaction, (2) strength of cognitive-affective components, (3) level of challenges, (4) level of skills, and (5) importance. It thus appears that the 2 conceptions of happiness are related but distinguishable and that personal expressiveness, but not hedonic enjoyment, is a signifier of success in the process of self-realization. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Gratitude is conceptualized as a moral affect that is analogous to other moral emotions such as empathy and guilt. Gratitude has 3 functions that can be conceptualized as morally relevant: (a) a moral barometer function (i.e., it is a response to the perception that one has been the beneficiary of another person's moral actions); (b) a moral motive function (i.e., it motivates the grateful person to behave prosocially toward the benefactor and other people); and (c) a moral reinforcer function (i.e., when expressed, it encourages benefactors to behave morally in the future). The personality and social factors that are associated with gratitude are also consistent with a conceptualization of gratitude as an affect that is relevant to people's cognitions and behaviors in the moral domain.
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The present study describes the construction and validation of a new scale for measuring coping strategies entitled the Coping Styles Questionnaire (CSQ). Earlier studies had suggested that there were three primary coping components: task, emotion, and avoidance. In part, the validation of the CSQ confirmed these results, extracting factors concerned with problem-solving (Rational Coping, RATCOP), emotion (Emotional Coping, EMCOP) and avoidance (Avoidance Coping, AVCOP). However, a new factor was uncovered which tapped distancing or detachment (Detached Coping, DETCOP). Subsequent analyses suggested a grouping of two adaptive (RATCOP and DETCOP) and two maladaptive (EMCOP and AVCOP) coping styles, which was confirmed by the concurrent validation of the scale using the Emotional Control Questionnaire.
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The independence of positive and negative affect has been heralded as a major and counterintuitive finding in the psychology of mood and emotion. Still, other findings support the older view that positive and negative fall at opposite ends of a single bipolar continuum. Independence versus bipolarity can be reconciled by considering (a) the activation dimension of affect, (b) random and systematic measurement error, and (c) how items are selected to achieve an appropriate test of bipolarity. In 3 studies of self-reported current affect, random and systematic error were controlled through multiformat measurement and confirmatory factor analysis. Valence was found to be independent of activation, positive affect the bipolar opposite of negative affect, and deactivation the bipolar opposite of activation. The dimensions underlying D. Watson, L. A. Clark, and A. Tellegen's (1988) Positive and Negative Affect schedule were accounted for by the valence and activation dimensions.
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ACT is a therapy that is based philosophically in clinical behavior analysis. Functional contextualism is the world view that underlies ACT. Theoretically ACT is based on RFT, which offers an account of how language creates pain and useless methods of dealing with it, and which suggests alternative contextual approaches to these domains. ACT uses metaphors, experiential exercises, and logical paradox to get around the literal content of language and to produce more contact with the ongoing flow of experience in the moment. The primary ACT components are challenging the control agenda, cognitive defusion, willingness, self as context, values, and commitment. ACT is part of the CBT tradition, although it has notable differences from traditional CBT. The main purpose of ACT is to relieve human suffering through helping clients live a vital, valued life.
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Research on self-esteem has focused almost exclusively on level of trait self-esteem to the neglect of other potentially more important aspects such as the contingencies on which self-esteem is based. Over a century ago, W. James (1890) argued that self-esteem rises and falls around its typical level in response to successes and failures in domains on which one has staked self-worth. We present a model of global self-esteem that builds on James' insights and emphasizes contingencies of self-worth. This model can help to (a) point the way to understanding how self-esteem is implicated in affect, cognition, and self-regulation of behavior, (b) suggest how and when self-esteem is implicated in social problems; (c) resolve debates about the nature and functioning of self-esteem; (d) resolve paradoxes in related literatures, such as why people who are stigmatized do not necessarily have low self-esteem and why self-esteem does not decline with age; and (e) suggest how self-esteem is causally related to depression. In addition, this perspective raises questions about how contingencies of self-worth are acquired and how they change, whether they are primarily a resource or a vulnerability, and whether some people have noncontingent self-esteem. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)
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The psychometric properties of the Anxiety Control Questionnaire (ACQ) were evaluated in 1,550 outpatients with DSM-IV anxiety and mood disorders and 360 nonclinical participants. Counter to prior findings, exploratory factor analyses produced a 3-factor solution (Emotion Control, Threat Control, Stress Control) based on 15 of the ACQ's original 30 items. Factor analyses in two independent clinical samples (e.g., confirmatory factor analysis, CFA) replicated the 3-factor solution. Multiple-groups CFAs indicated that the measurement properties of the ACQ were invariant in male and female patients, and that the ACQ was largely form and parameter equivalent in a clinical versus nonclinical sample. Hierarchical analysis supported the existence of a higher-order dimension of perceived control. Structural regression analyses indicated that each of the ACQ factors accounted for significant unique variance in one or both latent factors representing the dimensions of autonomic anxiety and depression. The results are discussed in regard to their conceptual and psychometric implications to the construct of perceived emotional control.
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Analytical solutions for point and variance estimators of the mediated effect, the ratio of the mediated to the direct effect, and the proportion of the total effect that is mediated were studied with statistical simulations. We compared several approximate solutions based on the multivariate delta method and second order Taylor series expansions to the empirical standard deviation of each estimator and theoretical standard error when available. The simulations consisted of 500 replications of three normally distributed variables for eight sample sizes (N = 10, 25, 50, 100, 500, 1000, and 5000) and 64 parameter value combinations. The different solutions for the standard error of the indirect effect were very similar for sample sizes of at least 50, except when the independent variable was dichotomized. A sample size of at least 500 was needed for accurate point and variance estimates of the proportion mediated. The point and variance estimates of the ratio of the mediated to nonmediated effect did not stabilize until the sample size was 2,000 for the all continuous variable case. Implications for the estimation of mediated effects in experimental and nonexperimental studies are discussed.
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Cognitive- behavioral therapy (CBT), although effective, has the lowest average effect size for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), when compared to effect sizes of CBT for other anxiety disorders. Additional basic and applied research suggests that although interpersonal processes and emotional avoidance may be maintaining GAD symptomatology, CBT has not sufficiently addressed interpersonal issues or emotion avoidance. This study aimed to test the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of an integrative psychotherapy, combining CBT with techniques to address interpersonal problems and emotional avoidance. Eighteen participants received 14 sessions of CBT plus interpersonal emotional processing therapy and three participants (for training and feasibility purposes) received 14 sessions of CBT plus supportive listening. Results showed that the integrative therapy significantly decreased GAD symptomatology, with maintenance of gains up to 1 year following treatment. In addition, comparisons with extant literature suggested that the effect size for this new GAD treatment was higher than the average effect size of CBT for GAD. Results also showed clinically significant change in GAD symptomatology and interpersonal problems with continued gains during the 1-year follow-up. Implications of these results are discussed.
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In a longitudinal community survey of 291 adults, we explored the relation between coping strategies and psychological symptoms. Respondents completed the revised Ways of Coping Scale (Folkman & Lazarus, 1985) for a self-named stressful episode. Factor analysis produced eight coping factors: three problem focused, four emotion focused, and one (support mobilization) that contained elements of both. Multiple regression analyses indicated bidirectionality in the relation between coping and psychological symptoms. Those in poorer mental health and under greater stress used less adaptive coping strategies, such as escapism, but coping efforts still affected mental health independent of prior symptom levels and degree of stress. We compared main versus interactive effects models of stress buffering. Main effects were confined primarily to the emotion-focused coping scales and showed little or negative impacts of coping on mental health; interactive effects, though small, were found with the problem-focused scales. The direction of the relation between problem-focused scales and symptoms may depend in part on perceived efficacy, or how the respondent thought he or she handled the problem. Implications for the measurement of adaptive coping mechanisms and their contextual appropriateness are discussed.
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In this study we examined the relation between personality factors (mastery and interpersonal trust), primary appraisal (the stakes a person has in a stressful encounter), secondary appraisal (options for coping), eight forms of problem- and emotion-focused coping, and somatic health status and psychological symptoms in a sample of 150 community-residing adults. Appraisal and coping processes should be characterized by a moderate degree of stability across stressful encounters for them to have an effect on somatic health status and psychological symptoms. These processes were assessed in five different stressful situations that subjects experienced in their day-to-day lives. Certain processes (e.g., secondary appraisal) were highly variable, whereas others (e.g., emotion-focused forms of coping) were moderately stable. We entered mastery and interpersonal trust, and primary appraisal and coping variables (aggregated over five occasions), into regression analyses of somatic health status and psychological symptoms. The variables did not explain a significant amount of the variance in somatic health status, but they did explain a significant amount of the variance in psychological symptoms. The pattern of relations indicated that certain variables were positively associated and others negatively associated with symptoms.
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In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators.
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A theoretical model of psychological well-being that encompasses 6 distinct dimensions of wellness (Autonomy, Environmental Mastery, Personal Growth, Positive Relations with Others, Purpose in Life, Self-Acceptance) was tested with data from a nationally representative sample of adults (N = 1,108), aged 25 and older, who participated in telephone interviews. Confirmatory factor analyses provided support for the proposed 6-factor model, with a single second-order super factor. The model was superior in fit over single-factor and other artifactual models. Age and sex differences on the various well-being dimensions replicated prior findings. Comparisons with other frequently used indicators (positive and negative affect, life satisfaction) demonstrated that the latter neglect key aspects of positive functioning emphasized in theories of health and well-being.
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Self-esteem lability (SEL), defined as daily event-related variability in state self-esteem, and low trait self-esteem (TSE) were assessed among 205 male and female undergraduates who were currently depressed (CD), previously depressed (PD), and never depressed (ND). SEL scores were derived for the effect of positive, negative, and combined events on state self-esteem over 30 days. Consistent with psychodynamic and cognitive theories, SEL was found to be a better index of depression proneness than TSE. PD Ss showed higher lability on all SEL scores than ND controls but did not differ from controls on TSE. Ss were reassessed 5 months later, and new cases showed higher premorbid SEL than ND controls but did not differ from controls on premorbid TSE. SEL at Time 1 was found to increase risk for depression at Time 2 among Ss reporting high life stress at Time 2. Theoretical and methodological implications are discussed.
Book
This edition of the Mastery of Your Anxiety and Panic Workbook has been updated to include strategies and techniques for dealing with both panic disorder and agoraphobia. The program outlined is based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and is organized by skill, with each chapter building on the one before it. It covers the importance of recordkeeping and monitoring progress, as well as breathing techniques and thinking skills. The main focus of the treatment involves learning how to face agoraphobia situations and the often frightening physical symptoms of panic from an entirely new perspective. Self-assessment quizzes, homework exercises, and interactive forms allow patients to become active participants in treatment and to learn to manage panic attacks, anxiety about panic, and avoidance of panic and agoraphobic situations.
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The effect of a grateful outlook on psychological and physical well-being was examined. In Studies 1 and 2, participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 experimental conditions (hassles, gratitude listing, and either neutral life events or social comparison); they then kept weekly (Study 1) or daily (Study 2) records of their moods, coping behaviors, health behaviors, physical symptoms, and overall life appraisals. In a 3rd study, persons with neuromuscular disease were randomly assigned to either the gratitude condition or to a control condition. The gratitude-outlook groups exhibited heightened well-being across several, though not all, of the outcome measures across the 3 studies, relative to the comparison groups. The effect on positive affect appeared to be the most robust finding. Results suggest that a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits.
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In four studies, the authors examined the correlates of the disposition toward gratitude. Study 1 revealed that self-ratings and observer ratings of the grateful disposition are associated with positive affect and well-being prosocial behaviors and traits, and religiousness/spirituality. Study 2 replicated these findings in a large nonstudent sample. Study 3 yielded similar results to Studies 1 and 2 and provided evidence that gratitude is negatively associated with envy and materialistic attitudes. Study 4 yielded evidence that these associations persist after controlling for Extraversion/positive affectivity, Neuroticism/negative affectivity, and Agreeableness. The development of the Gratitude Questionnaire, a unidimensional measure with good psychometric properties, is also described.
Conference Paper
The ascendance of emotion theory recent advances in cognitive science and neuroscience, and increasingly important findings from developmental psychology and learning make possible an integrative account of the nature and etiology of anxiety and its disorders. This model specifies an integrated set of triple vulnerabilities: a generalized biological (heritable) vulnerability, a generalized psychological vulnerability based on early experiences in developing a sense of control over salient events, and a more specific psychological vulnerability in which one learns to focus anxiety on specific objects or situations. The author recounts rite development of anxiety and related disorders based on these triple vulnerabilities and discusses implications for the classification of emotional disorders.
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A theory of ironic processes of mental control is proposed to account for the intentional and counterintentional effects that result from efforts at self-control of mental states. The theory holds that an attempt to control the mind introduces 2 processes: (a) an operating process that promotes the intended change by searching for mental contents consistent with the intended state and (b) a monitoring process that tests whether the operating process is needed by searching for mental contents inconsistent with the intended state. The operating process requires greater cognitive capacity and normally has more pronounced cognitive effects than the monitoring process, and the 2 working together thus promote whatever degree of mental control is enjoyed. Under conditions that reduce capacity, however, the monitoring process may supersede the operating process and thus enhance the person's sensitivity to mental contents that are the ironic opposite of those that are intended.
Book
An ACT Approach Chapter 1. What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy? Steven C. Hayes, Kirk D. Strosahl, Kara Bunting, Michael Twohig, and Kelly G. Wilson Chapter 2. An ACT Primer: Core Therapy Processes, Intervention Strategies, and Therapist Competencies. Kirk D. Strosahl, Steven C. Hayes, Kelly G. Wilson and Elizabeth V. Gifford Chapter 3. ACT Case Formulation. Steven C. Hayes, Kirk D. Strosahl, Jayson Luoma, Alethea A. Smith, and Kelly G. Wilson ACT with Behavior Problems Chapter 4. ACT with Affective Disorders. Robert D. Zettle Chapter 5. ACT with Anxiety Disorders. Susan M. Orsillo, Lizabeth Roemer, Jennifer Block-Lerner, Chad LeJeune, and James D. Herbert Chapter 6. ACT with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Alethea A. Smith and Victoria M. Follette Chapter 7. ACT for Substance Abuse and Dependence. Kelly G. Wilson and Michelle R. Byrd Chapter 8. ACT with the Seriously Mentally Ill. Patricia Bach Chapter 9. ACT with the Multi-Problem Patient. Kirk D. Strosahl ACT with Special Populations, Settings, and Methods Chapter 10. ACT with Children, Adolescents, and their Parents. Amy R. Murrell, Lisa W. Coyne, & Kelly G. Wilson Chapter 11. ACT for Stress. Frank Bond. Chapter 12. ACT in Medical Settings. Patricia Robinson, Jennifer Gregg, JoAnne Dahl, & Tobias Lundgren Chapter 13. ACT with Chronic Pain Patients. Patricia Robinson, Rikard K. Wicksell, Gunnar L. Olsson Chapter 14. ACT in Group Format. Robyn D. Walser and Jacqueline Pistorello
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Objective: The goal of this consensus statement is to provide primary care clinicians with a better understanding of management issues in social anxiety disorder (social phobia) and guide clinical practice with recommendations for appropriate pharmacotherapy. Participants: The 4 members of the International Consensus Group on Depression and Anxiety were James C. Ballenger (chair), Jonathan R. T. Davidson, Yves Lecrubier, and David J. Nutt. Other faculty invited by the chair were Julio Bobes, Deborah C. Beidel, Yukata Ono, and Herman G. M. Westenberg. Evidence: The consensus statement is based on the 7 review papers published in this supplement and on the scientific literature relevant to the issues reviewed in these papers. Consensus process: The group met over a 2-day period. On day 1, the group discussed each review paper, and the chair identified key issues for further debate. On day 2, the group discussed these issues to arrive at a consensus view. After the group meetings, the consensus statement was drafted by the chair and approved by all attendees. Conclusions: The consensus statement underlines the importance of recognizing social anxiety disorder and provides recommendations on how it may be distinguished from other anxiety disorders. It proposes definitions for response and remission and considers appropriate management strategies. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are recommended as first-line therapy, and effective treatment should be continued for at least 12 months. Long-term treatment is indicated if symptoms are unresolved, the patient has a comorbid condition or a history of relapse, or there was an early onset of the disorder.
151 college students to whom the Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI) was administered in 1984 were retested in 1987 for anxiety sensitivity and tested for panic attacks, state-trait anxiety, and anxiety disorder history. ASI scores in 1984 predicted the frequency and intensity of panic attacks in 1987. Compared to Ss with low 1984 ASI scores, Ss with high 1984 ASI scores were 5 times more likely to have an anxiety disorder during the period 1984 to 1987. Test-retest reliability for the ASI across 3 yrs was .71. Data provide evidence for the stability of anxiety sensitivity over time and that the concept of anxiety sensitivity should be considered a personality variable. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Two studies supported hypotheses that (1) published scales tapping coping through processing and expressing emotion are confounded with psychopathology; (2) previously demonstrated relations between emotional approach coping (EAC) and maladjustment are partially spurious; and (3) EAC, when tapped by items uncontaminated by distress, is beneficial under specific conditions. In Study 1, 194 psychologists rated a majority of published items, but no author-constructed EAC item, as indicative of pathology. Study 2 assessed relations of confounded and unconfounded EAC scales to 171 young adults' adjustment during stressful events. Confounded items evidenced weaker discriminant validity with distress measures than did unconfounded items, and they were weaker predictors of later maladjustment when initial adjustment was controlled than when it was not. Unconfounded EAC predicted improved adjustment for women and poorer adjustment for men over time. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The emerging field of emotion regulation studies how individuals influence which emotions they have, when they have them, and how they experience and express them. This review takes an evolutionary perspective and characterizes emotion in terms of response tendencies. Emotion regulation is defined and distinguished from coping, mood regulation, defense, and affect regulation. In the increasingly specialized discipline of psychology, the field of emotion regulation cuts across traditional boundaries and provides common ground. According to a process model of emotion regulation, emotion may be regulated at five points in the emotion generative process: (a) selection of the situation, (b) modification of the situation, (c) deployment of attention, (d) change of cognitions, and (e) modulation of responses. The field of emotion regulation promises new insights into age-old questions about how people manage their emotions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)
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The tendency to fear and avoid internal experiences may be an important characteristic of individuals with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). We review here theory and research suggesting that individuals with GAD may be experientially avoidant, and present preliminary evidence to support this model. Findings from both a non-clinical and clinical sample suggest that worry and generalized anxiety disorder may be associated with a tendency to try to avoid or control (versus accept) internal experiences, as well as a tendency to fear losing control over ones own emotional responses (particularly anxiety). The clinical implications of these findings, along with directions for future research, are discussed.
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Although decades of research have examined relationships between social anxiety and negative outcomes, this study examined relations with indices of positive psychological functioning. In college students (n = 204), a factor analysis on self-report measures of positive psychological functioning derived 3 conceptually meaningful broad domains: Positive Subjective Experiences, Curiosity, and Appetitive Motivations. Analyses were conducted to test whether social interaction anxiety demonstrated unique relationships with positive psychological domains after controlling for shared variance with social observation anxiety (e.g., eating in public, public speaking) and neuroticism. Social interaction anxiety explained unique variance in all 3 domains after separately controlling for social observation anxiety and neuroticism. In contrast, social observation anxiety demo