2004-05 Allyn & Bacon Award Abstracts
Difficulties With Emotion Regulation Predict Eating Disorder Symptoms: A Preliminary Study
Sumati Gupta, Duke University (NC)
First Place Allyn & Bacon Award Winner
Faculty Sponsor: M. Zachary Rosenthal, PhD
Problems with emotion regulation may be associated with the etiology and maintenance of eating disorders (EDs; e.g., Agras & Telch, 1998). Much of the research on this topic has conceptualized one function of disordered eating behavior as maladaptive emotion regulation, given that such behavior (e.g., purging) can temporarily reduce negative affect. However, emotion regulation is a broad and complex construct, and less is known about the relationship between EDs and other difficulties with emotion regulation beyond negative affect reduction. In this preliminary study of undergraduate females (N = 154), we hypothesized that difficulties with emotion regulation (problems with awareness, clarity, and non-acceptance of emotions, as well as impulsivity, behaving consistently with goals, and accessing sufficient strategies when emotionally aroused) would predict ED symptoms over and above several known predictors of EDs. Using hierarchal linear regression analysis, difficulties with emotion regulation predicted an additional 9% of the variance in ED symptoms over and above the combination of trait negative affect, impulsivity, sociocultural attitudes toward thinness, and chronic feelings of shame. Together, all predictors accounted for 55% of the variance in ED symptoms. Implications of these preliminary findings for treatment development and further research are discussed.
An Interpersonal Model of Depression: Specificity to Symptoms of Depression Versus Anxiety
Kyle Holleran, Binghamton University, SUNY
Second Place Allyn & Bacon Award Winner
Faculty Sponsor: Brandon Gibb, PhD
The current study attempted to replicate and extend a study by Joiner (1997) examining three interpersonal vulnerabilities to depression. Joiner found that low social support moderated the link between shyness and depression, and that loneliness mediated the shyness X social support interaction. This model was found to be specifically related to depressive symptoms. In the current study, undergraduates (n = 251) were administered questionnaires assessing symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as shyness, social support, and loneliness. Although Joiner’s findings were not replicated, it was found that shyness and social support were independently related to depressive and general anxiety symptoms. In contrast, levels of shyness but not social support were related to symptoms of social anxiety.
Infant Habituation Patterns Predict Later Theory of Mind: A Developmental Dissociation Between Social and Non-Social Domains
Mariko Yamaguchi, Yale University (CT)
Third Place Allyn & Bacon Award Winner
Faculty Sponsor: Karen Wynn, PhD
Previous research has established a correlation between habituation patterns in object-perception tasks and later intelligence. Recently, this result has been extended to social cognition, with a relationship established between looking time in a social task and theory of mind. We present a replication and extension of this finding, examining 26 subjects who participated in either object or social attention tasks at 6 and 12 months of age, respectively, and theory of mind tasks at 4 years of age. Significant correlations were found between decrement of attention during habituation in object tasks and theory of mind, as well as between novelty preference in social tasks and theory of mind. The results suggest a developmental dissociation between social and non-social domains.