Glossary Term: Avoidance Behavior

Definition

Generally refers to a coping behavior in which the person consciously or unconsciously makes efforts to avoid exposure to a stressor with the short term aim to avoid interacting with the difficulties that usually accompany the stressor.

How to measure avoidance behavior?

‘Avoidance coping’ can be measured via a self-reported questionnaire called the Brief Experiential Avoidance Questionnaire (BEAQ), consisting of 15 items.

Is avoidance a symptom of depression?

Avoidance can be seen as an important component of depression where people may frequently withdraw or isolate themselves. To the person with depression, isolation and withdrawal may seem a good way to ‘avoid’ unpleasant interactions.

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