Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Kertz, Sarah


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a disabling disorder with considerable limitations to functioning (Baxter et al., 2014; Eaton et al., 2008). Although assessment and treatments for OCD are effective (Abramowitz et al., 2002; Öst et al., 2015), research is slowed by multiple overlapping transdiagnostic measures including anxiety sensitivity, experiential avoidance, and distress intolerance (Blakey et al., 2016; Robinson & Freeston, 2014). These constructs have not been adequately tested together and various models of each construct exist (Bernstein et al., 2009; Blakey et al., 2016; McHugh & Otto, 2012; Zvolensky et al., 2010). Current research is inconclusive on whether each construct adds to the others (Blakey et al., 2016; Laposa et al., 2015; Robinson & Freeston, 2014). The current study addressed the limited research on the factor structure of anxiety sensitivity, distress intolerance, and experiential avoidance by conducting a confirmatory factor analysis in a sample of OCD patients (Robinson & Freeston, 2014). The current study supported a latent intolerance of internal experiences factor which predicted OCD symptoms and global psychological functioning at post-treatment with model modifications. Change in experiential avoidance and distress intolerance predicted post-treatment OCD whereas anxiety sensitivity did not when controlling for pre-treatment OCD symptoms and change in anxiety and depression. Limitations, future directions, and clinical implications are discussed.




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