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Measuring Experiential Avoidance: Evidence toward Multidimensional Predictors of Trauma Sequelae

Department of Psychology, Western Michigan University, 3700 Wood Hall, Kalamazoo, MI 49008, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Scott J. Hunter
Behav. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 9;
Received: 2 October 2016 / Revised: 9 February 2017 / Accepted: 13 February 2017 / Published: 20 February 2017
PDF [764 KB, uploaded 1 March 2017]


The current study sought to investigate measurement discrepancies in self-report assessment of experiential avoidance (EA). Recent research indicates that EA may be more appropriately conceptualized as a multidimensional construct, operationally defined in terms of specific avoidance strategies. To test this notion, EA was measured using two self-report assessment instruments, the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (AAQ-II) and the Multidimensional Experiential Avoidance Questionnaire (MEAQ) in a convenience sample of university students. Measurement differences across measures and unique contributions to prediction of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and engagement in problematic behaviors were evaluated. Both the AAQ-II and MEAQ were found to significantly mediate the effect of childhood trauma exposure on PTSS. However, when levels of PTSS were dummy coded into dichotomies of those with a likely PTSD diagnosis and those without, the MEAQ was a stronger predictor of symptoms for those with a likely PTSD diagnosis than the AAQ-II. These results provide initial support for the discriminant validity of the MEAQ, which appears to be a more specific predictor of trauma-related symptoms. View Full-Text
Keywords: experiential avoidance; MEAQ; AAQ-II; childhood trauma experiential avoidance; MEAQ; AAQ-II; childhood trauma

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Lewis, M.; Naugle, A. Measuring Experiential Avoidance: Evidence toward Multidimensional Predictors of Trauma Sequelae. Behav. Sci. 2017, 7, 9.

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