A network conceptualization of the multiple facets of distress tolerance

Emma K. Evanovich, Andrew J. Marshall, Sarah Jo David, Gregory H. Mumma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Using a network analysis (NA) approach, the current study examined the relations among different facets of Distress Tolerance (DT). The NA approach quantifies and displays relations among variables in a visual network consisting of nodes (symptoms) and edges (partial correlations between symptoms). Design: An exploratory NA approach evaluated how manifestations of DT uniquely and systematically relate to one another. Methods: Undergraduate students (N = 288) completed 10 commonly used measures of DT including cognitive, behavioral, and self-report measures. Results: Results indicated all relations in the network were positive apart from social sensitivity and suppression. Further, individual DT facets did not form distinct community structures (nodes that cluster together and thus have stronger relations with each other than other nodes in the network). Conclusions: The lack of community structures suggests that DT is a general ability to tolerate distress that is comprised of many different facets rather than the idea that DT is hierarchical and comprised of distinct domains; a current debate within the literature. The self-reported ability to tolerate life demands and tasks was the most influential facet in the overall network suggesting the Frustration Discomfort Scale may be the best global measure of DT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-669
Number of pages16
JournalAnxiety, Stress and Coping
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2 2019


  • Distress tolerance
  • network analysis
  • network stability


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