Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Chris Koronakos

Second Advisor

Dr. Malcolm H. Robertson

Third Advisor

Dr. Bradley Huitema

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The objective of the study was to evaluate the validity of Albert Ellis 's A-B-C paradigm of psychopathology. The A (negative life change), B (irrational thinking and negative self-statements), and C (maladaptive arousal: depression, anxiety, and anger) components of Ellis's paradigm were assessed of 40 disturbed outpatients. The resultant data were subjected to a correlational analysis. The analysis indicated negative life change (A) and irrational thinking (B) are additive in their relation to maladaptive arousal (C), and negative self-statements are more strongly associated with maladaptive arousal than irrational thinking. Problem Avoidance, Frustration Reactivity, and High Self-Expectations characterized the irrational beliefs most uniquely related to anger. The results support a revision of the A-B-C paradigm in which less emphasis is assigned to irrational thinking and more to the roles of situational variables and negative self statements. The implications of this revision for the differential use of elegant and inelegant Rational Emotive Therapies are discussed.