Examining the specific dimensions of distress tolerance that prospectively predict perceived stress

We examined five dimensions of distress tolerance (i.e. uncertainty, ambiguity, frustration, negative emotion, physical discomfort) as prospective predictors of perceived stress. Undergraduate students (N = 135) completed self-report questionnaires over the course of two assessment sessions (T1 and T2). Results of a linear regression in which the five dimensions of distress tolerance and covariates (i.e. T1 perceived stress, duration between T1 and T2) served as predictor variables and T2 perceived stress served as the outcome variable showed that intolerance of uncertainty was the only dimension of distress tolerance to predict T2 perceived stress. To better understand this prospective association, we conducted a post hoc analysis simultaneously regressing two subdimensions of intolerance of uncertainty on T2 perceived stress. The subdimension representing beliefs that “uncertainty has negative behavioral and self-referent implications” significantly predicted T2 perceived stress, while the subdimension indicating that “uncertainty is unfair and spoils everything” did not. Results support a growing body of research suggesting intolerance of uncertainty as a risk factor for a wide variety of maladaptive psychological outcomes. Clinical implications will be discussed.

Read the full paper: Bardeen, J. R., Fergus, T. A., & Orcutt, H. K. (2017). Examining the specific dimensions of distress tolerance that prospectively predict perceived stress. Cognitive behaviour therapy, 46(3), 211-223. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/16506073.2016.1233454

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