Clinical, field, and experimental studies of response to potentially stressful life
events give concordant findings: there is a general human tendency to undergo episodes
of intrusive thinking and periods of avoidance. A scale of current subjective distress,
related to a specific event, was based on a list of items composed of commonly reported
experiences of intrusion and avoidance. Responses of 66 persons admitted to an outpatient
clinic for the treatment of stress response syndromes indicated that the scale had
a useful degree of significance and homogeneity. Empirical clusters supported the
concept of subscores for intrusions and avoidance responses.