Vakgroep Psychologie, Gezondheid & Technologie

Titel: Personality disorders and the role of experiential avoidance.

Type opdracht (Ba / Ma?): Ma

In– of extern?: Intern

Hoeveel studenten mogelijk? 2-3

Zelf data verzamelen (ja/nee? Nee

Type onderzoek (kwal/kwant/literatuurstudie): kwantitatieve studie

EC (10 of 30EC)? 10 EC



Experiential avoidance (EA), or the positive equivalence acceptance, is considered to play a central role in psychopathology and quality of life, and is currently measured with the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire–II (AAQ-II). EA has been conceptualized as the avoidance of negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions with the aim to alleviate or reduce negative affect, despite the harmful consequences on the long term, such as psychological distress and lower quality of life (Hayes, Luoma, Bond, Masuda, & Lillis, 2006). Earlier findings suggest that EA predicted psychological distress and quality of life even after controlling for individual characteristics, such as negative affect, mindfulness, and coping styles (Bond et al., 2011; Fledderus et al., 2012). Recent studies suggest that EA is a relevant factor for individuals with a borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, it remains unknown whether this finding is limited to individuals with BPD or may be relevant for other personality disorders.

This study aims to explore the role of EA in a large sample of patients with varied personality disorders (N > 250).

The available data contains information on DSM-IV primary and comorbid diagnosis, experiential avoidance (AAQ-II), quality of life (WHOQOL), maladaptive personality functioning (SIPP-SF), maladaptive schema modes (SMI) and general psychological distress (OQ-45). Students are free to formulate their own innovative research questions.

Example research questions are:

Is the relationship between EA and BPD similar or different for other personality disorders?


Is the relationship between adaptive, maladaptive schema modes and quality of life mediated by EA?


Is the relationship between personality functioning and quality of life mediated by acceptance (EA)?


Does the AAQ-II explain similar variance in general psychological distress above and beyond the severity of personality problems in a sample of adult patients with BPD compared to patients with other personality disorders?

Wie zoeken we? We are looking for students who have good writing skills and are comfortable with quantitative statistical analyses. The thesis can be written in English or Dutch.

Begeleiders: Dr. Farid Chakhssi.