Contacting one’s values and engaging in behavior consistent with those values, referred to as valuing, is associated with improved physical and mental health (Nygren et al., 2005), increases in quality of life (Plumb & Hayes, 2008), and increases in overall well-being (Reker et al., 1987), among many other positive outcomes. But those areas of life that are valued tend to elicit unwanted, negatively evaluated experiences, often resulting in experiential avoidance (Michelson et al., 2001). Experiential avoidance has been associated with the etiology and maintenance of many psychological struggles, particularly anxiety-related struggles (Kashdan et al., 2006; Eifert & Forsyth, 2007; Hayes et al., 1999; Hayes et al., 1996). Given that anxiety is a negatively-evaluated experience that is often avoided, exploring the relationships between anxiety, experiential avoidance, and valuing appeared needed. The current study examines the relationships between anxiety, experiential avoidance, and valuing with college students using both retrospective assessments through initial questionnaires and immediate assessments through the use of ecological momentary assessment. As predicted, results indicated a significant positive relationship between anxiety and experiential avoidance. Results also indicated a negative relationship between experiential avoidance and valuing. Further, anxiety disrupted progress toward values the most when experiential avoidance was high while anxiety and experiential avoidance both independently facilitated more perceived obstacles toward values. Implications for future studies using of multiple methods of assessment, including ecological momentary assessment, along with a multidimensional conceptualization of valuing, are discussed.
|Advisor:||Sandoz, Emily K.|
|Commitee:||Brown, Amy L., Perkins, Rick|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||MAI 54/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Psychology|
|Keywords:||Acceptance and commitment therapy, Anxiety, Experiential avoidance, Valued living, Valuing|
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