Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford


  • Aditi VijayEmail author
  • Catherine Paquette
  • Jacqueline Douglas
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_504-1



Distress is an aversive emotional, cognitive, or physical state. It is contextual; a specific person, situation, or environment can be distressing at one point in time but not another; distress is variable within the individual and across time.


Distress is an aversive emotional, cognitive, or physical state. It is subjective in nature; each individual has a different threshold for distress, and within each person the level of distress varies depending upon situational factors. Thus, two people may experience differing levels of distress in the same situation, and the amount of distress experienced by any individual may vary from day to day or from one situation to another. For example, the level of distress when faced with a stressful task could be very different between two different people, and the same individual may have a very different response to the task on different days. Distress and psychopathology are transactional in nature; higher...


Eating Disorder Ptsd Symptom Anxiety Sensitivity Dialectical Behavior Therapy Distress Tolerance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aditi Vijay
    • 1
    Email author
  • Catherine Paquette
    • 1
  • Jacqueline Douglas
    • 1
  1. 1.Georgetown UniversityWashingtonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Monika Wróbel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PsychologyUniversity of LodzLodzPoland