A preliminary test of the role of experiential avoidance in post-event functioning

J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 2004 Sep;35(3):245-57. doi: 10.1016/j.jbtep.2004.04.011.


Experiential avoidance is the unwillingness to experience unwanted thoughts, emotions, or bodily sensations and an individual's attempts to alter, avoid, or escape those experiences. The aim of the current studies was to broaden previous research indicating that experiential avoidance often leads to the development and maintenance of psychological distress. Results indicated that experiential avoidance is significantly correlated with psychological distress and post-traumatic symptomatology over and above other measures of psychological functioning. Limitations and implications for treatment and prevention of psychological distress are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Escape Reaction*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychometrics
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors