Measurement invariance of the distress tolerance scale among university students with and without a history of non-suicidal self-injury
|Slabbert, A. and Hasking, P. and Greene, D. and Boyes, M. 2021. Measurement invariance of the distress tolerance scale among university students with and without a history of non-suicidal self-injury. PeerJ. 9: ARTN e10915.
Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is the intentional damage to one's body tissue in the absence of suicidal intent. NSSI primarily serves an emotion regulation function, with individuals engaging in self-injury to escape intense or unwanted emotion. Low distress tolerance has been identified as a mechanism that underlies self-injury, and is commonly assessed using the self-report Distress Tolerance Scale. There are mixed findings regarding the factor structure of the Distress Tolerance Scale, with some researchers utilising a higher-order distress tolerance score (derived from the scores on the four lower-order subscales) and other researchers using the four subscales as unique predictors of psychological outcomes. Neither of these factor structures have been assessed among individuals with a history of self-injury. Of note, an inability to tolerate distress (thought to underlie NSSI) may limit an individual's capacity to accurately observe and report specific thoughts and emotions experienced in a state of heightened distress, which may impact the validity of scores on the Distress Tolerance Scale. Therefore, measurement invariance should be established before attributing NSSI-related differences on the scale to true differences in distress tolerance. We compared the Distress Tolerance Scale higher-order model with the lower-order four factor model among university students with and without a history of NSSI. Our results indicated that the lower-order four factor model was a significantly better fit to the data than the higher-order model. We then tested the measurement invariance of this lower-order factor model among individuals with and without a history of NSSI, and established configural and full metric invariance, followed by partial scalar and full residual error invariance. These results suggest the four subscales of the Distress Tolerance Scale can be used to confidently discern NSSI-related differences in distress tolerance.
|Science & Technology
|Science & Technology - Other Topics
|Measurement invariance of the distress tolerance scale among university students with and without a history of non-suicidal self-injury
|Curtin School of Population Health
|Faculty of Health Sciences
|Hasking, Penelope [0000-0002-0172-9288]
|Boyes, Mark [0000-0001-5420-8606]
|Boyes, Mark [G-9680-2014]
|Hasking, Penelope 
|Boyes, Mark