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Behavioral tasks offer an objective index of processes associated with psychopathology. The mirror tracing persistence task (MTPT) has been used as a measure of distress tolerance, or the ability to endure negative internal states. In generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), a poor ability to tolerate aversive internal states may relate to the inability to adaptively regulate emotion. This study examined if those with GAD exhibit lower distress tolerance compared to controls as evidenced by length of time persisting on the MTPT. Participants underwent diagnostic interviews to determine the presence of absence of GAD and following group assignment, completed the MTPT. Results demonstrated that the groups differed significantly in time spent persisting on the task, with controls persisting longer than those with GAD, supporting the hypothesis that individuals with GAD exhibit lower distress tolerance than controls. These results provide support for the use of behavioral assessments as potential markers of distress tolerance.
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- The Use of the Mirror Tracing Persistence Task as a Measure of Distress Tolerance in Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Megan E. Renna
Saren H. Seeley
David M. Fresco
Richard G. Heimberg
Douglas S. Mennin
- Springer US
- Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy
Print ISSN: 0894-9085
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-6563