Lucas Marinack


Presentation: 10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Kennedy Union Ballroom



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Background: Traumatic experiences are linked to a multitude of negative outcomes with many potential mediators. Distress tolerance (DT), has emerged to be strongly associated with a plethora of trauma-related outcomes. DT is defined as one’s perceived or actual ability to withstand negative internal states such as feeling frustrated or worried (Berenz et al., 2017). DT can be measured both subjectively and behaviorally. Specifics of traumatic experiences such as the nature or type of the traumatic event (Berenz et al., 2017), one’s age at the time of the trauma exposure (Dunn et al., 2018), and the relationship to your perpetrator if applicable (Gamache Martin et al., 2016) may be related to DT. This study will analyze: 1) The effect of type and timing of a traumatic event on DT 2) Among victims of interpersonal violence, if the relationship to the perpetrator affects DT. 3) If findings are consistent for subjective and behavioral DT measures. Methods: Participants in this study were recruited using multiple participant recruitment methods. Undergraduate students and a community sample were recruited to participate via the SONA system and ResearchMatch respectively. Participants completed the secured electronic survey materials online along with providing demographic information. Participants completed a questionnaire asking about past traumatic experiences including the type of event(s), age at the time of event(s), and relationship to the perpetrator of violence where applicable. Participants also completed the Distress Tolerance Scale, and the Mirror Tracing Persistence Task to assess subjective and behavioral DT respectively Significance: Despite the link between trauma and many negative outcomes via DT, there is a stark paucity in the literature on what generally influences DT, and even less regarding traumatic experiences’ influence on DT. Understanding how this transdiagnostic mechanism is developed and maintained may give us additional insight into how traumatic experiences lead to negative outcomes.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Lucy Allbaugh

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences

Institutional Learning Goals


Type and Timing of Traumatic Experiences: Influence on Distress Tolerance