Factor Structure of the Korean Version of Multidimensional Experiential Avoidance Questionnaire (MEAQ)
Experiential avoidance is one’s tendency to avoid painful internal experience, unwanted adverse thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. The Multidimensional Experiential Avoidance Questionnaire (MEAQ) is a measure of experiential avoidance, and the original scale consisted of 62 items with six subfactors including behavioral avoidance, distress aversion, procrastination, distraction/suppression, repression/denial, and distress endurance. The purpose of this study was to examine the factor structure of the MEAQ in a Korean sample. Three hundred community adults and university students aged 18 to 35 participated in an online survey assessing experiential avoidance (MEAQ and Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II; AAQ-II), depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9; PHQ-9), anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disoder-7; GAD-7), negative affect (Positive and Negative Affect Scale; PANAS), neuroticism (Big Five Inventory; BFI), and quality of life (Satisfaction with Life Scale; SWLS). Factor analysis with principal axis with direct oblimin rotation was conducted to examine subfactors of the MEAQ. Results indicated that the six-factor structure of the original scale was adequate. Eight items out of 62 items were removed due to insufficient factor loading. These items included 3 items of behavior avoidance (e.g., “When I am hurting, I would do anything to feel better”), 2 items of repression/denial (e.g., “I work hard to keep out upsetting feelings”), and 3 items of distress aversion (e.g., “I prefer to stick to what I am comfortable with, rather than try new activities”). The MEAQ was positively associated with the AAQ-II (r = .47, p < .001), PHQ-9 (r = .37, p < .001), GAD-7 (r = .34, p < .001), PANAS (r = .35, p < .001), and neuroticism (r = .24, p < .001), and negatively correlated with the SWLS (r = -.38, p < .001). Internal consistency was good for the MEAQ total (Cronbach’s α = .90) as well as all six subfactors (Cronbach’s α = .83 to .87). The findings of the study support the multidimensional feature of experiential avoidance and validity of the MEAQ in a sample of Korean adults.