The Acceptance and Action Questionnaire – Stigma (AAQ-S): Developing a measure of psychological flexibility with stigmatizing thoughts

Author(s):
Michael E. Levin, Jason B. Luoma, Jason Lillis, Steven C. Hayes, Roger Vilardaga

Abstract:
The current study sought to develop and test the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire – Stigma (AAQ-S), a measure of psychological flexibility with stigmatizing thoughts. A sample of 604 undergraduate students completed an online survey, which included an initial pool of 43 AAQ-S items as well as measures related to psychological flexibility and stigma. Expert judge ratings and factor analysis were used to identify and refine two distinct subscales; psychological flexibility and psychological inflexibility relating to stigmatizing thoughts. Analyses indicated that the AAQ-S psychological flexibility and inflexibility subscales, as well as a combined total score, correlate with other measures of psychological flexibility and stigma in expected ways, and are more predictive of stigma than a general measure of psychological flexibility. Overall, the results suggest that the AAQ-S could be a useful measure in conducting future stigma research.

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