Irrational thinking and psychological distress: A cross-racial/ethnic examination

Vincenzo G. Terán, Esther E. Velásquez, Milton A. Fuentes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We investigated irrational thinking patterns across a racially and ethnically diverse United States university sample and its relationship with psychological distress. 402 participants completed the Shortened General Attitude and Belief Scale, Behavior Assessment Scale for Children (Second Edition; College Age, Self-Report Inventory) and the NIS Skin Color Scale. We generated multivariable linear regression models to estimate the impact of irrational thinking on psychological distress. Irrational thinking was strongly associated with a variety of psychological conditions, and race/ethnicity affects the interaction between these two constructs. The impact of socio-demographic characteristics on psychological distress varies between whites and non-whites. Results highlight the strong effect of race and ethnicity on the relationship between thought patterns and components of mental health, as well as the correlation between other socio-demographics with psychological well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110102
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • Irrational beliefs
  • Psychological distress
  • Racial and ethnic differences
  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)


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