Development and validation of the affect intolerance scale to assess maladaptive beliefs and avoidance of emotion

Lexine A. Stapinski*, Maree J. Abbott, Ronald M. Rapee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
90 Downloads (Pure)


Cognitive processes are considered integral to the conceptualisation of emotional disorders and distress. Contemporary models have emphasised the importance of individual differences in the interpretation of internal events, including emotions. Maladaptive beliefs about emotional experience may motivate unhelpful control strategies, and impact negatively on psychological wellbeing. Building on existing measures of emotion, an integrative scale was developed to assess a range of maladaptive beliefs about the experience of negative emotions. Psychometric evaluation provided preliminary support for the reliability and validity of the Affect Intolerance Scale (AIS). Furthermore, the scale demonstrated a unique relationship with clinical symptomatology (i.e., depression, anxiety, stress and worry) above and beyond existing measures assessing dimensions of emotional experience. Potential utility of the measure for clinical practice and avenues for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-221
Number of pages17
JournalBehaviour Change
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2014 Cambridge University Press. Article originally published in Behaviour change, vol 31, iss 2, pp. 205-221. The original article can be found at


  • affect intolerance
  • anxiety
  • emotion
  • emotional avoidance
  • threat
  • worry


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