Levin, Krafft, Pierce, & Potts. 2018.

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APA Citation: 

Levin, M. E., Krafft, J., Pierce, B., & Potts, S. (2018). When is experiential avoidance harmful in the moment? Examining global experiential avoidance as a moderator. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 61,158-163. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbtep.2018.07.005

Publication Topic: 
ACT: Conceptual
Publication Type: 
Article
Language: 
English
Keyword(s): 
Experience sampling method, College students, Acceptance and commitment therapy, Mindfulness
Abstract: 

Background and objectives:
Although experiential avoidance has been shown to predict a wide range of mental health problems, there has been minimal research to-date on the more immediate effects of engaging in experiential avoidance in the moment or the moderators that predict when it is more or less harmful.

Methods:
An ecological momentary assessment (EMA) study was conducted with 70 undergraduate students who completed assessments three times a day, over 7 day as well as a baseline assessment of global questionnaires.

Results:
Both greater global experiential avoidance and momentary experiential avoidance independently predicted greater momentary negative affect, lower positive affect, and lower valued action. Global experiential avoidance was also a significant moderator of momentary experiential avoidance such that experiential avoidance in the moment was more strongly related to negative effects among those high in global experiential avoidance.

Limitations:
Study limitations include a non-clinical student sample and use of unvalidated EMA items.

Conclusions:
Overall, these results suggest engaging in experiential avoidance in the moment has more negative, immediate effects particularly among those who engage in global, inflexible patterns of experiential avoidance.