The Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (AAQ-II) as a measure of experiential avoidance: Concerns over discriminant validity

Tyndall, Ian and Waldeck, Daniel and Pancani, Luca and Whelan, Robert and Roche, Bryan and Dawson, David L (2019) The Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (AAQ-II) as a measure of experiential avoidance: Concerns over discriminant validity. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science . ISSN 2212-1447

Full content URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/...

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The Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (AAQ-II) as a measure of experiential avoidance: Concerns over discriminant validity

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Abstract

Psychological inflexibility and experiential avoidance are key constructs in the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) model of behavior change. Wolgast (2014) questioned the construct validity of the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (AAQ-II), the most used self-report instrument to assess the efficacy of ACT interventions. Wolgast suggested that the AAQ-II measured psychological distress rather than psychological inflexibility and experiential avoidance. The current study further examined the construct validity of the AAQ-II by conducting an online cross-sectional survey (n = 524), including separate measures of experiential avoidance and psychological distress. Confirmatory factor analyses indicated that items from the AAQ-II correlated more highly with measures of depression,
anxiety, and stress than the Brief Experiential Avoidance Questionnaire (BEAQ). Implications include that, as broad measures of experiential avoidance, the AAQ-II and BEAQ may not measure the same construct. In terms of psychological distress, the BEAQ has greater discriminant validity than the AAQ-II, and perhaps an alternative instrument of psychological inflexibility might be needed to assess core outcomes in ACT intervention research.

Additional Information:The final published version of this article can be accessed online at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212144718302618?via%3Dihub#s0075
Keywords:Experiential avoidance, psychological flexibility, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, AAQ-II
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:33392
Deposited On:18 Oct 2018 13:55

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