A large percentage of individuals who enter residential substance abuse treatment drop out before completing treatment. Given that early treatment dropout places individuals at an increased risk for relapse, identifying the mechanisms underlying treatment dropout would have several important theoretical and clinical implications. In the current study, the authors examined levels of psychological and physical distress tolerance as a predictor of early treatment dropout in a residential substance abuse treatment facility. In a sample of 122 individuals entering a residential substance abuse treatment facility, level of psychological distress tolerance was predictive of early treatment dropout above and beyond relevant self-report variables. There was no relationship between physical distress tolerance and early treatment dropout. Implications for future studies and treatment development or modification are discussed.
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