Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Psychology (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Raymond DiGiuseppe


Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) states that irrational beliefs (IBs) are the core elements that lead to emotional and behavior-related disruptions. IBs are manifested through beliefs people have about how people should, must, or ought to be or act (Sacks, 2004). An example of an irrational belief (IB), is when one must be successful at all things in life, and the possibility of failing in even one is a disaster. On the other hand, rational beliefs (RB) allow people to accept negative situations without viewing them in extremes (Dryden et al., 2010). An example of rational beliefs (RBs) generally is when a person accepts that they are not perfect at everything at hand and that is okay. These IBs and RBs represent a person's fundamental distortions and mental struggles. The Attitudes and Beliefs Scales-2 (ABS-2) measures Ellis' irrational and rational beliefs and is often used to test Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) claims. The ABS-2 includes three dimensions : (1) cognitive processes, (2) in either their irrational versus rational form, and (3) the life context in which the beliefs originate. DiGiuseppe et al. (2020) tested different models that could account for the structure of the ABS-2. They found support for an eight-factor model. These included four irrational processes of demandingness, frustration intolerance, awfulizing, and self-condemnation, and four corresponding rational factors of non-demanding preferences, frustration tolerance, realistic negative evaluations, and self-acceptance. This study attempted to replicate the complicated factor structure of the ABS-2 in a new sample. We used the lavaan structural equation modeling program to perform a confirmatory factor analysis. Since the data was multivariate and normally distributed, we used Diagonally Weighted Least Squares estimation procedures to identify which model had the best fit. The sample consisted of 986 participants from various sources, including outpatient psychotherapy clients assessed at intake, college students, and a sample of adults collected through social media. The results of the study supported our hypothesis that the eight-factor model had the best fit. In addition, the implications for REBT theory and practice were discussed.

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Psychology Commons