Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Kertz, Sarah


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) contributes to significant distress and chronic individual and societal impairment (e.g., DuPont et al., 1995; Ruscio et al., 2010). Despite the effectiveness of existing exposure-based therapies, some clients do not achieve symptom reduction or remission (Öst et al., 2015). Thus, identification of the mechanisms of change in treatment and more focused interventions are warranted to improve intervention effectiveness (e.g., Zvolensky et al., 2006). Distress intolerance may be an important but understudied mechanism of change in treatment for OCD. The current study replicated and extended previous findings that were limited by a small sample size (Macatee & Cougle, 2015), lack of focus on OCD specifically (McHugh et al., 2014; Bornovalova et al., 2012; Williams et al., 2013), and the use of non-clinical participants (Cougle et al., 2011; Macatee & Cougle, 2015) by using a residential and intensive outpatient sample of patients diagnosed with OCD. The current study found that reductions in DI accounted for significant improvement in OCD severity beyond changes in biological sex, anxiety change, depression change. Further, reductions in DI significantly contributed to OCD treatment response. Limitations and future directions were discussed.




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