Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Psychological Sciences

Document Type




Adolescents and college-aged individuals are particularly at risk for non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and eating disorders. Research is lacking regarding the cognitive and emotional factors behind the formation and maintenance of both types of pathology. This study examines anxiety, intolerance to uncertainty (IU), and distress tolerance in relation to both constructs in two separate samples (Sample 1: n=364, 58.5% freshmen, 75.8% female; Sample 2: n=156, 52.6% freshman, 66.0% female) with 32.4% and 40% reporting any history of NSSI, respectively. Participants completed a packet of questionnaires regarding the variables of interest and were debriefed and referred as necessary. In the first sample, it was hypothesized that anxiety, distress tolerance, and eating disorder symptoms would predict NSSI lifetime frequency and that distress tolerance would mediate the relationship between anxiety and NSSI. In the second sample, it was hypothesized that IU would be positively correlated with both NSSI and disordered eating. Results indicated that distress tolerance did mediate the relationship between anxiety and NSSI. Disordered eating was not significantly related to NSSI in either sample. IU was significantly related to both NSSI and disordered eating. Considering the impact uncertainty can have on young adults and adolescents and the increased rates in both groups, these results provide important implications for future research and treatment.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Amy Brausch


Clinical Psychology | Psychology