Examining the Specific Facets of Distress Tolerance That Are Relevant to Health Anxiety

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Abstract

Researchers have called for examinations of associations between distinct facets of distress tolerance and specific forms of psychopathology. We examined associations between five facets of distress tolerance (intolerance of uncertainty, ambiguity, frustration, negative emotion, and physical discomfort) and health anxiety using a large community sample of adults. Structural equation modeling was used to examine associations. Intolerance of uncertainty, negative emotion, and physical discomfort were the only facets of distress tolerance that shared unique associations with health anxiety after accounting for the overlap among the facets of distress tolerance. Intolerance of physical discomfort shared an especially strong unique association with health anxiety. These results highlight facets of distress tolerance that are particularly relevant to health anxiety. Conceptual and therapeutic implications are discussed.

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