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02-10-2015 | Uitgave 2/2016

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 2/2016

Emotional Distress Intolerance, Experiential Avoidance, and Anxiety Sensitivity: The Buffering Effect of Attentional Control on Associations with Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment > Uitgave 2/2016
Joseph R. Bardeen, Thomas A. Fergus


A number of individual difference factors, including emotional distress intolerance (EDI), experiential avoidance (EA), and anxiety sensitivity (ASI), have been implicated in the development and maintenance of posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptomatology. Attentional control (AC) has been shown to serve as a protective factor against the development of maladaptive psychological outcomes across a number of studies, even among those with outcome-specific vulnerabilities. The purpose of the present study was to examine AC as a moderator of the relations between three constructs pertaining to the way that people relate to their internal experiences (i.e., EDI, EA, AS) and PTS symptoms among a trauma exposed community sample (N = 903). As predicted, AC moderated the relations between each individual difference factor and PTS symptoms, such that as attentional control decreased, the strength of the association between each individual difference factor and PTS symptoms increased. Study results suggest that AC abilities may be one factor that differentiates those who recover from trauma from those who do not, even among those who may be vulnerable for developing PTS symptomatology. Clinical implications and results of a PTS cluster level analysis will be discussed.

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