Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Marina A. Bornovalova, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Jon Rottenberg, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Brent Small, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Stephen Stark, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Edelyn Verona, Ph.D.


measurement, self-report, stress, factor analysis


Distress tolerance (DT) is the perceived ability to withstand psychological stress, and has been studied for its relationship to psychopathology, personality features, mood states, and behaviors. Previous work suggests that the two existing modalities of DT measurement (behavioral and self-report) are tapping conceptually and empirically different constructs. The current developed a novel, self-report measure of DT that conceptually mapped onto behavioral DT in two samples: community participants (N = 982) and undergraduates (N = 282). Two separate factors emerged, non-goal oriented distress intolerance (DI), and goal-oriented distress tolerance (DT). Fit indices were acceptable in the community sample, but poor in the college sample. Both factors showed associations with existing self-report (SR) DT measures, behavioral outcomes, and behavioral tasks (in the college sample) supporting construct validity. Associations with the DT personality network were similar to that of the existing DT-SR measures, and failed to support discriminant validity. Likewise, the documentation of the novel measures with the broad DT nomological network showed predicted associations with personality, mood, and psychopathology, supporting existing literature. Novel measures predicted some significant variance in DT outcomes (psychopathology, behavioral outcomes), above and beyond existing DT-SR, however magnitude was small in nature, and the college sample failed to replicate these results. Measurement invariance testing showed failure at the scalar level in college students. Overall, novel measures did not provide clear support for a separate behavioral definition of DT, and corroborated prior studies investigating extant DT measures and the broad DT nomological network.