Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The protective effects of mindfulness in helping a student sample tolerate distress
Author: Lassman, Francesca Mia
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 0530
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Distress tolerance is defined as the capacity to withstand aversive emotional states. Deficits in distress tolerance are common in both clinical and non-clinical populations and associated with a range of clinical symptoms in both. This is particularly problematic in the context of anger, potentially leading to aggressive or harmful behaviour towards the self and others. Clinicians and researchers have developed interventions to increase distress tolerance, and one with an emerging evidence base is mindfulness. The current study assessed the influence of mindfulness as a mediator between trait anger and distress tolerance using a cross-sectional design. In addition, it compared a mindfulness intervention with a relaxation intervention on increasing peoples' distress tolerance when in an angry mood. Using a mixed experimental design, university students (N = 70) completed measures of distress tolerance, trait anger and trait mindfulness at baseline. They were randomised to a one-week mindfulness or relaxation intervention. At one-week follow-up they underwent an angry mood induction before completing a behavioural measure of distress tolerance. State anger and mindfulness were assessed at baseline and follow up to assess the efficacy of the intervention and manipulation. As predicted, trait mindfulness mediated the relationship between trait anger and distress tolerance. Furthermore, participants in the mindfulness intervention demonstrated greater distress tolerance than those in the relaxation intervention. However, state mindfulness did not increase following either intervention. In conclusion, trait mindfulness partially explained the relationship between trait anger and distress tolerance in student samples. Furthermore, mindfulness was more effective than relaxation in increasing students' distress tolerance when angry; however, the mechanism by which this occurred needs further exploration. This may have important clinical implications for developing mindfulness interventions to target distress tolerance. However, further research using clinical samples is needed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: distress tolerance ; mindfulness ; relaxation ; anger