Parent Distress Intolerance, Repetitive Negative Thinking, and Mental Health Service Use

Zabin S. Patel, Elizabeth Casline, Amanda Jensen-Doss, Kiara R. Timpano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While extensive evidence links service use for mental health problems to demographic variables and positive attitudes, studies have not explored the role of transdiagnostic risk factors, like distress intolerance (DI) and repetitive negative thinking (RNT). This study examined the relationship between parental DI and RNT on mental health treatment seeking for parents themselves and their children. Results suggest higher DI and RNT predict service use among parents (p < 0.05) but were not significantly associated with help seeking for their children, indicating that factors more proximal to the child may have greater influence when parents make treatment decisions for their children. Results also indicte that DI moderates the relationship between parent psychopathology and parent service use, such that parent psychopathology is significantly associated with service use for those with lower DI, but not at moderate or high levels of DI. Implications for marketing mental health information to parents and engaging them in treatment are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-375
Number of pages11
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Distress intolerance
  • Mechanical turk
  • Parents
  • Repetitive negative thinking
  • Service use
  • Youth mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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