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Distress tolerance is inversely associated with a number of negative outcomes, including multiple forms of psychopathology. Research suggests that difficulties accessing effective emotion regulation (ER) strategies may adversely affect the willingness and/or ability to tolerate distress. Additionally, research has shown that attentional control (i.e., the skillful control of higher-order executive attention in regulating bottom-up emotional responses) can be used to effectively regulate distress. Using a community sample of adults (N = 93), the present study sought to examine whether attentional control moderates the relationship between difficulties accessing effective ER strategies and distress tolerance. As predicted, difficulties accessing effective ER strategies was inversely related to behaviorally-indexed distress tolerance, but only among individuals with relatively lower attentional control. Results suggest that attentional control may be a protective factor against distress intolerance. Clinically, findings suggest that attention training interventions may be helpful in reducing risk for psychopathology among individuals with less access to effective ER strategies.
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- Attentional Control as a Moderator of the Relationship Between Difficulties Accessing Effective Emotion Regulation Strategies and Distress Tolerance
Joseph R. Bardeen
Matthew T. Tull
Katherine L. Dixon-Gordon
Erin N. Stevens
Kim L. Gratz
- Springer US
Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Print ISSN: 0882-2689
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-3505