Multimethod study of distress tolerance and PTSD symptom severity in a trauma-exposed community sample

Authors

  • Erin C. Marshall-Berenz,

    1. University of Vermont
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Psychology, University of Vermont
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  • Anka A. Vujanovic,

    1. National Center for PTSD–Behavioral Science Division, VA Boston Health Care System, and Boston University School of Medicine
    Current affiliation:
    1. Staff Research Psychologist, National Center for PTSD–Behavioral Science Division, VA Boston Health Care System, and Division of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine
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  • Marcel O. Bonn-Miller,

    1. National Center for PTSD–Dissemination and Training Division and VA Palo Alto Health Care System
    Current affiliation:
    1. National Center for PTSD–Dissemination and Training Division and Center for Health Care Evaluation, VA Palo Alto Health Care System
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  • Amit Bernstein,

    1. University of Haifa
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Psychology, University of Haifa
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  • Michael J. Zvolensky

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Vermont
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Psychology, University of Vermont
    • Department of Psychology, The University of Vermont, John Dewey Hall, 2 Colchester Avenue, Burlington, VT 05405-0134
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  • This article was edited by the journal's Editor-Elect, Daniel S. Weiss.

  • This research was supported by a National Institute on Mental Health National Research Service Award (1 F31 MH080453-01A1) awarded to Erin C. Marshall-Berenz. This research was also supported by a VA Clinical Science Research and Development (CSR&D) Career Development Award-2, awarded to Dr. Bonn-Miller and several grants (1 R01 DA027533-01; 1 R01 MH076629-01) awarded to Dr. Zvolensky. Dr. Bernstein recognizes the funding support from the Israeli Council for Higher Education Yigal Alon Fellowship and the European Union FP-7 Marie Curie Fellowship International Reintegration Grant. The views expressed here are the authors' and do not necessarily represent those of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Abstract

Despite initial evidence linking distress tolerance to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity, there is a need for the investigation of interrelations among multiple measures of distress tolerance and PTSD symptom severity. Therefore, the present study investigated concurrent relations among multiple measures of distress tolerance, as well as the relations between these measures and PTSD symptom severity, within a trauma-exposed community sample. The sample consisted of 81 trauma-exposed adults (63.1% women). Results indicated that Distress Tolerance Scale (Simons & Gaher, 2005) scores, but no other measures of distress tolerance were significantly related to PTSD symptom severity above and beyond the variance accounted for by number of traumas, trait-level neuroticism, and participant sex. Implications and future directions are discussed.

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