Matching Items (58)

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Heart Rate Variability as a Moderator of the Relations Between Marital Support and Social and Emotional Functioning Among Female Fibromyalgia Patients

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Being able to self-regulate has been found to be an important part of a person’s physiological and psychological health. It allows someone to regulate their emotions well in trying to

Being able to self-regulate has been found to be an important part of a person’s physiological and psychological health. It allows someone to regulate their emotions well in trying to obtain a goal, or in realizing a goal is unobtainable and re-evaluating the situation to form an obtainable goal (Rasmussen, Wrosch, Scheier & Carver, 2006). Self-regulation can be measured in many ways, but a physiological measure of self-regulation is heart rate variability (HRV). HRV monitors the body’s response to emotional stressors through measuring how variable a person’s heartbeat is (Appelhans & Luecken, 2006). A second potential factor contributing to self-regulation is social closeness. Research has also shown that the more social closeness a person experiences, the better able they are to regulate their emotions (Kok & Fredrickson, 2010; Kok et al., 2013). Social closeness is assessed via self-reports. There is a difference between partners’ and self-reports, such that the partners tend to be more positive when asked about the participants through questionnaires (Vuorisalmi, Sarkeala, Hervonen & Jylhä, 2012). When examining the relationship between reports of spouses, research has shown that the husbands are worse at reliably reporting their wives’ behaviors, but are more reliable when reporting on personal situations between the couple than is the wife (Khawaja & Tewtel-Salem, 2004). To date we know that a higher HRV is associated with better self-regulation and that social closeness leads to better emotional regulation; however, we do not know if HRV and social closeness combine to predict better functionality or if it matters if the husbands or wives are filling out the self-reports on social closeness. This study investigated four hypotheses regarding the relations between HRV and social relations between partners and how the social or emotional functioning of female fibromyalgia (FM) patients. The first hypothesis is that when the FM patient feels disregard from her partner, she is more likely to exhibit a decline in her social functioning, and that this decline is less pronounced in high HRV. The second hypothesis is that if a FM patient feels disregarded by her partner, her emotional functioning will become inhibited; furthermore, that this relationship is moderated by her HRV. The third hypothesis is that when her partner feels he disregards her, her social functioning is impaired, and that this relationship is moderated by her HRV. The last hypothesis is that when her partner feels he disregards her, her emotional functioning declines, and that this relationship is moderated by HRV. The FM patient’s HRV was measured in a laboratory setting, and the partner disregard was measured by a partner survey that was administered to both the FM patient and her partner. Through the analysis of all of the results, none of the four hypotheses had significant results showing that none of them were supported by this experiment.

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  • 2014-05

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The Relations Between Childhood Trauma, Cortisol Levels, and Pain Perceptions in Response to Induced Thermal Pain in Fibromyalgia Patients

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Childhood trauma has been linked to an increased risk of chronic pain in adulthood. One potential mechanism is via childhood trauma's impact on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) response to stress,

Childhood trauma has been linked to an increased risk of chronic pain in adulthood. One potential mechanism is via childhood trauma's impact on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) response to stress, reflected in changes in salivary cortisol levels (Nicolson et al., 2010). This study sought to determine the relations between childhood trauma, increases in cortisol levels following induced pain, and pain perceptions in adults with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition. It drew on data collected from participants enrolled in an investigation comparing the effectiveness of behavioral treatments for chronic pain. Before receiving treatment, participants attended a laboratory session during which they first rested, and then were exposed to heat stimuli to assess pain threshold and tolerance. Saliva samples were collected from each participant immediately following the rest, and twice during pain induction. Fibromyalgia participants with a history of childhood trauma were expected: 1) to report lower pain threshold and tolerance levels (i.e., have higher pain sensitivity), 2) to exhibit a higher resting cortisol level, and 3) to have greater increases in cortisol in response to acute pain induction than fibromyalgia participants without a history of childhood trauma. Findings showed that childhood trauma scores were: 1) related to lower pain tolerance (but not pain threshold), 2) unrelated to resting cortisol levels, and 3) unrelated to changes in cortisol in response to pain induction and pain tolerance, contrary to prediction. However, a subtype of childhood trauma, i.e., emotional maltreatment: 1) predicted lower pain tolerance, and 2) moderated the cortisol changes over time in response to pain induction during the laboratory session in the expected direction. That is, individuals who reported higher levels of childhood emotional maltreatment showed greater cortisol responses to the pain induction than individuals who reported lower levels of exposure to emotional maltreatment. Cortisol responses did not relate to pain perception. Thus, childhood emotional trauma predicted greater pain sensitivity and cortisol reactivity, but cortisol did not relate to pain perception. The findings suggest that early childhood trauma predicts cortisol reactivity and pain sensitivity, but that cortisol reactivity is not a mediator in the trauma-pain relation.

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Date Created
  • 2013-12

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Mindfulness Meditation Training: Gold or Oversold?

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The effects of meditation on attention control have been widely studied in recent years. However, the methodological flaws of many of these studies raise serious concerns on the validity of

The effects of meditation on attention control have been widely studied in recent years. However, the methodological flaws of many of these studies raise serious concerns on the validity of meditation training as a cognitive enhancer. This study investigated the near and far transfer effects of mindfulness meditation training on attention control when a stringent experimental design was implemented. Participants in the experimental group practiced meditation for three twenty-minute sessions, and participants in the active control group listened to an audio book about meditation for similar times. No significant effect of meditation on change in performance on cognitive tasks was found. This study suggests that short-term mindfulness meditation training does not result in increased attention control.

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Date Created
  • 2013-05

Parental Overprotection and Temperamental Negative Affectivity as Predictors of Blood Pressure and Heart Rate in Young Adulthood

Description

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and classic risk factors only predict half of the variance of cases. In this study, parental overprotection and

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and classic risk factors only predict half of the variance of cases. In this study, parental overprotection and temperamental negative affectivity both significantly correlated with blood pressure and heart rate, which suggests the importance of examining early life factors when determining one's risk for CVD.

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Date Created
  • 2013-05

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The Relation Between Social and Physical Pain in Individuals with Fibromyalgia

Description

Accruing evidence suggests that the neural underpinnings of the social and physical pain systems overlap. The preponderance of the data are based on experimental manipulations of healthy individuals. Those data

Accruing evidence suggests that the neural underpinnings of the social and physical pain systems overlap. The preponderance of the data are based on experimental manipulations of healthy individuals. Those data suggest that the experience of social pain, in the form of rejection, influences the experience of physical pain. The current study sought to extend this literature in four ways: first it examined whether the relation between social pain and physical pain holds in individuals with chronic pain. Second, it evaluated the rejection-pain relation in everyday life though use of daily diary repots. Third, it evaluated whether aversive social events other than rejection (i.e., conflict) are also related to daily pain, to determine, if the relation to pain is specific to rejection. Finally, it tested whether the relational context (i.e., chronic level of rejection or conflict) predicted pain levels. The sample for the current study is comprised of 123 partnered individuals with fibromyalgia (FM) who completed 21 daily diaries that assessed their experience of spousal rejection, spousal conflict, and daily physical pain. Multilevel modeling was used to examine 1) the within person relations between daily increases in negative spousal events, and reports of chronic physical pain; and 2) The moderating effect of chronic spousal discord on the daily negative event pain relations. Results showed a marginally significant relation between daily rejection events and increased levels of pain, and a significant relation between daily conflict events and increased levels of pain. Keywords: chronic pain, social pain, rejection, conflict, Fibromyalgia

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Going Back in Time: Children’s Word Learning Through Backwards Integration

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For many years now, early word learning in children has been an important subject among many researchers. There are many ways in which children learn word-object pairings including using co-occurrences,

For many years now, early word learning in children has been an important subject among many researchers. There are many ways in which children learn word-object pairings including using co-occurrences, forwards integration, and backwards integration. This study primarily focuses on backwards integration. Backwards integration entails using learned information to be able to recall a word-object pairing from a previous time. In this thesis, three different studies were conducted with children aged 3-7 years old. In the general task, children were presented with a computerized word-learning task in which they could track word-referent pairings using co-occurrence statistics, forward integration, and backward integration. The goal of Study 1 and Study 2 was to determine the best task design to study backwards integration. The goal of the final study, Study 3, was to provide preliminary data on backwards integration. The overall results indicate that a between subjects design is the most beneficial way to test backwards integration because as a group, children were learning when compared to chance. In addition, the results from Study 3 showed that children were not learning in the task. In general, this suggests that this task may have been very difficult for children to complete. One limitation of Study 3
was that there was a small sample size of only 29 children. In order to account for this, the sample sizes in Study 2 and Study 3 were combined. This combined data did show that children succeeded at the backwards integration condition. It is noteworthy to mention that backwards integration was above chance in Study 2 and in the Study 2 and 3 combination. Therefore, the overall results suggest that children may possibly be able to backwards integrate; however, no evidence of learning in any of the other conditions were present.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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The Association Between Sleep Quality and Asthma in Middle-school Aged Children

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Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting children, and investigators have identified a number of risk factors that worsen asthma symptoms. Most prior studies have concluded that

Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting children, and investigators have identified a number of risk factors that worsen asthma symptoms. Most prior studies have concluded that there is an association between one risk factor, poor sleep quality, and asthma; however, whether sleep quality predicts future asthma symptoms, asthma symptoms predict future sleep quality, or the relation is reciprocal is still unclear. The methodology of studies examining the asthma-sleep association has consisted of actigraphy and parent report to determine children's sleep duration and sleep efficiency, and lung function assessments with a spirometer on the participants to determine children's overall lung function. The purpose of the proposed study is to determine the strength of the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between indicators of sleep quality and asthma. The proposed study plans to use a combination of actigraphy, sleep diaries, and lung function assessments using a spirometer to determine sleep quality and lung function, respectively. Future directions include determining the directionality of the association between sleep quality and asthma as well as strength of association.

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Date Created
  • 2018-12

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Child Cortisol as a Mediator between Early Maternal Stress and Childhood Pain Response

Description

Early childhood environment is critical to subsequent physical health in children and is influenced by children's primary caregivers \u2014 typically mothers. Maternal stress, one aspect of a child's environment, may

Early childhood environment is critical to subsequent physical health in children and is influenced by children's primary caregivers \u2014 typically mothers. Maternal stress, one aspect of a child's environment, may shape the functioning of the child's physiological stress response system, which has been linked to later health outcomes, including pain. The current study evaluated whether: 1) early maternal stress, defined as maternal depressive symptoms and low socio-economic status, predicts later child pain; 2) early maternal stress relates to later child daily cortisol output; and 3) child's cortisol output across the day mediates the relation between early maternal stress and child pain. Maternal stress was assessed via questionnaires at twin age 12-months. At twin age seven years, twins' salivary cortisol was collected three times per day for three days. At twin age nine years, twins rated how often they experienced stomach, headache, and back pain weekly or more frequently. Results of multilevel linear and logistic regression analyses showed that early maternal stress did not predict later children's daily cortisol output or extent of child pain. Therefore, findings were inconsistent with the proposed mediation model. However, there was a marginally significant negative relation between child daily cortisol output and later extent of child pain. Current findings suggest that functioning of the stress response system, reflected in cortisol output, may have implications for the development of child pain. Future work evaluating intensely stressful early environments may provide clues about the links between a child's early environment and the development of his/her stress response system.

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Date Created
  • 2018-12

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Understanding Emotion Dynamics and Observed Cooperation and Conflict in the Sibling Relationship

Description

Sibling interactions are natural contexts for learning about the appropriate expression of emotions. The emotionally charged nature of sibling interactions creates a convenient context to explore emotional reactivity and regulation.

Sibling interactions are natural contexts for learning about the appropriate expression of emotions. The emotionally charged nature of sibling interactions creates a convenient context to explore emotional reactivity and regulation. The purpose of this study was to examine the relations among parent-reported sibling relationship quality, observed sibling prosocial and antisocial behaviors displayed when playing a competitive marble game, and children's emotions coded from videotape. The sample consisted of 58 twin children who are currently participating in the longitudinal Arizona Twin Project. Parents completed the Sibling Relationship Questionnaire online at 5 and 8 years. Additionally, a competitive marble game interaction between the siblings took place in the home at 8 years and was videotaped for objective coding of prosocial, antisocial, and control behavior. Facial expressions were also coded from videotape using Emotient FACET software across the marble game interaction. Three mean composites of emotion were created, including positive and negative emotional facial expressions. Results showed that parent reported warmth did not predict the occurrence of positive emotions during the sibling interaction. However, siblings with high conflict showed less fear during the interaction. Parent reports of warmth predicted the extent to which siblings differed on emotion expression, however conflict did not. Parent ratings of conflict and warmth did not predict the extent to which the sibling dyad was emotionally intense. Findings regarding genetic and environmental effects were in line with previous reports of genetic influence on prosocial behavior and negative emotion, and expressions of joy being influenced by the environment. This study investigated noteworthy aspects of the sibling relationship that appear to promote children's adaptive development.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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A Mechanistic Model of Art Therapy

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The goal of my study is to test the overarching hypothesis that art therapy is effective because it targets emotional dysregulation that often accompanies significant health stressors. By reducing the

The goal of my study is to test the overarching hypothesis that art therapy is effective because it targets emotional dysregulation that often accompanies significant health stressors. By reducing the salience of illness-related stressors, art therapy may improve overall mood and recovery, particularly in patients with cancer. After consulting the primary literature and review papers to develop psychological and neural mechanisms at work in art therapy, I created a hypothetical experimental procedure to test these hypotheses to explain why art therapy is helpful to patients with chronic illness. Studies found that art therapy stimulates activity of multiple brain regions involved in memory retrieval and the arousal of emotions. I hypothesize that patients with chronic illness have a reduced capacity for emotion regulation, or difficulty recognizing, expressing or altering illness-related emotions (Gross & Barrett, 2011). Further I hypothesize that art therapy improves mood and therapeutic outcomes by acting on the emotion-processing regions of the limbic system, and thereby facilitating the healthy expression of emotion, emotional processing, and reappraisal. More mechanistically, I propose art therapy reduces the perception or salience of stressors by reducing amygdala activity leading to decreased activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The art therapy literature and my hypothesis about its mechanisms of action became the basis of my proposed study. To assess the effectiveness of art therapy in alleviating symptoms of chronic disease, I am specifically targeting patients with cancer who exhibit a lack of emotional regulation. Saliva is collected 3 times a week on the day of intervention: morning after waking, afternoon, and evening. Stress levels are tested using one-hour art therapy sessions over the course of 3 months. The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) assesses an individual's perceived stress and feelings in past and present situations, for the control and intervention group. To measure improvement in overall mood, 10 one-hour art sessions are performed on patients over 10 weeks. A one-hour discussion analyzing the participants' artwork follows each art session. The Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) assesses overall mood for the intervention and control groups. I created rationale and predictions based on the intended results of each experiment.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05