The relationship between experiential avoidance and the severity of trichotillomania in a nonreferred sample

Printer-friendly version
APA Citation: 

Begotka, A. M., Woods, D. W., & Wetterneck, C. T. (2004). The relationship between experiential avoidance and the severity of trichotillomania in a nonreferred sample. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 35, 17-24.

Publication Topic: 
ACT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
Article
Language: 
English
Keyword(s): 
Trichotillomania; Experiential avoidance; Acceptance and commitment therapy
Abstract: 

In this study 436 adults, who reported being diagnosed with trichotillomania (TTM), completed an anonymous survey examining the relationship between experiential avoidance (i.e., escape from or avoidance of unwanted thoughts or emotions) and TTM severity. Results showed a significant positive correlation between measures of experiential avoidance and TTM severity, indicating that more experientially avoidant individuals tended to exhibit more severe TTM. Subsequent analyses found that persons who scored higher on a measure of experiential avoidance reported more frequent and intense urges to pull, were less able to control their urges, and experienced more pulling-related distress than persons who were not experientially avoidant. Conversely, results also showed that individuals who were more experientially avoidant were no more likely to actually pull and were no less successful in actually stopping themselves from pulling than non-avoidant individuals. The results of this study suggest that experiential avoidance may be an important issue in understanding and possibly treating some persons with TTM.

Comments: 
In a large sample of adults suffering from trichotillomania, experiential avoidance as measured by the 9 item AAQ correlated with more frequent and intense urges to pull, less ability to control urges, and more pulling-related distress than persons who were not experientially avoidant. Actual pulling did not differ.
This page contains attachments restricted to ACBS members. Please join or login with your ACBS account.