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Heliyon. 2017 Sep 6;3(9):e00398. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2017.e00398. eCollection 2017 Sep.

Breath holding endurance: stability over time and relationship with self-assessed persistence.

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Wolfson Institute of Preventative Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, England, UK.
Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX.


Breath holding (BH) endurance has been suggested as a measure of the distress tolerance that could predict the outcome of attempts to implement behavior changes, such as stopping smoking or illicit substance use. It is not known however, to what degree BH endurance is a variable trait that may vary depending on situational context, or a stable state characteristic. We measured BH in two groups of participants at baseline and 22 and 89 days (N = 62 and N = 41) post-baseline and in a third group at multiple times points across a 5-week period (N = 44). Participants also filled out a questionnaire created to assess their perceived persistence compared to peers. Correlations were found between baseline and final BH measures (r's > 0.67, p's < 0.0001) at all time points. When groups were combined, regardless of time point, Spearman's rank correlation showed a strong positive correlation (rs = 0.66, p < 0.0001). Self-assessed persistence was not related to BH endurance. This study provides evidence of the stability of BH across time when tested under the same conditions in young adults. Further research is needed to clarify whether BH is linked to behavioral outcomes.



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