The present paper examined the relationship between everyday experiences of ostracism and psychological distress by focusing on the potential moderating role of psychological flexibility. As expected, data from a two-wave survey of 299 internet users (Study 1) indicated that perceived ostracism was positively related to psychological distress. However, the findings revealed that when psychological flexibility was low, the relationship between perceived ostracism and psychological distress was significant. By contrast, we found that for those with high levels of psychological flexibility the relationship between perceived ostracism and psychological distress was no longer significant. This pattern of findings was replicated in a separate two-wave survey of 231 internet users (Study 2). Implications of the present research suggest that strategies to increase psychological flexibility may help individuals cope with everyday experiences of ostracism.
- psychological flexibility
- acceptance and commitment therapy