Examining U.S. and Japanese College Students’ Differences in Psychological Distress: the Mediating Roles of Valued Action and Experiential Avoidance

  • Chad E. DrakeEmail author
  • Akihiko Masuda
  • David Dalsky
  • Kimberly T. Stevens
  • Sam Kramer
  • Sunni J. Primeaux
  • Takashi Muto
  • Takashi Mitamura


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a counseling modality that features values clarification interventions. However, a well-established ACT-consistent measure of values for practitioners and researchers is lacking. The present study, therefore, examined an exploratory measure called the Valued Time and Difficulty Questionnaire (VTDQ; Wilson et al. 2010) and investigated the possible explanatory role of multiple ACT constructs on psychological distress. Obtained cross-national differences with a sample of 188 U.S. and 223 Japanese students were consistent with previous research. Moreover, a multiple mediator model revealed significant indirect effects of VTDQ subscale scores for time and difficulty on the association between culture and symptoms.


Values Experiential avoidance Psychological flexibility Distress Cultural differences 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chad E. Drake
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Akihiko Masuda
    • 3
  • David Dalsky
    • 4
  • Kimberly T. Stevens
    • 5
  • Sam Kramer
    • 5
  • Sunni J. Primeaux
    • 5
  • Takashi Muto
    • 6
  • Takashi Mitamura
    • 7
  1. 1.University of South Carolina AikenAikenUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologySouthern Illinois UniversityCarbondaleUSA
  3. 3.University of Hawaii-MānoaHonoluluUSA
  4. 4.Kyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  5. 5.Southern Illinois UniversityCarbondaleUSA
  6. 6.Doshisha UniversityKyotoJapan
  7. 7.Ritsumeikan UniversityKyotoJapan

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