Using network analysis to examine connections between Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) processes, internalizing symptoms, and well-being in a sample of undergraduates

Hana May Eadeh, Jenna L. Adamowicz, Kristian Markon, Emily B.K. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has been shown to be effective in treating internalizing symptoms. Understanding which ACT processes are most closely linked to certain symptoms may help develop targeted treatments. Network analysis an approach to gain insight into the interconnection between processes and the downstream benefits of targeting a particular process. However, limited work to date has explored networks involving ACT processes specifically. Methods: Undergraduate students (N = 447; 76.5 % female; 89.5 % White/Non-Hispanic) completed online questionnaires. The ACT processes assessed included experiential avoidance (AAQ-II), openness, awareness, and engagement (CompACT), and tacting ability (TOF), and internalizing symptoms/well-being (IDAS-II). Zero-order and partial correlation networks were examined as well as resulting communities. Results: In the association network, dysphoria and experiential avoidance, and suicidality (in the concentration network only) were central nodes. In community analyses, experiential avoidance had the strongest influence in the association network, whereas well-being had the strongest influence in the concentration network. Auto-detected communities were also evaluated. Limitations: The present study was cross-sectional and included a largely White, female, undergraduate sample. This limits generalizability to more diverse, clinical, or general community populations. Potential concerns about data are also noted including low reliability on the TOF and two skewed domains on the IDAS-II which may impact stability of centrality metrics. Conclusions: Well-being, dysphoria, and suicidality may be important process-based treatment targets. Further work is needed with diverse samples and using longitudinal designs to examine within person change of the associations between ACT processes and internalizing symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-709
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume320
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022

Keywords

  • ACT processes
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy
  • Internalizing symptoms
  • Network analysis
  • Transdiagnostic
  • Well-being

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

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