Society for Ambulatory Assessment

First quarter 2010 (January to March)

Asaka Y, Takada S. (Feb 2010). Activity-based assessment of the sleep behaviors of VLBW preterm infants and full-term infants at around 12 months of age. Brain & Development,  32(2), 150-155.

Purpose: The aim of this study is to identify the characteristics of sleep behaviors assessed from activity data among very low-birth weight (VLBW) preterm infants in comparison to full-term infants at the age of around 12 corrected months, due to the possibility that sleep behaviors of preterm infants may be different from those of full-term infants. Method: Cross-sectional study. Infant sleep measures were obtained through actigraphs (Micro-mini RC, Ambulatory Monitoring Inc., Ardsley, NY), which were attached to the infants’ ankles during a week-long period. The subjects were 14 preterm infants and 14 full-term infants in which the mean ages were 13.3 ± 2.1 corrected months and 12.3 ± 2.4 month, respectively. Results: Preterm infants showed significantly less sleep duration during nighttime than full-term infants. The mean activity score and ACTX (Activity Index: percentage minutes with more than 0 activity score) of preterm infants during nighttime were significantly higher than those of full-term infants. No significant differences in total sleep duration, daytime sleep duration, the number of night-wakings, and sleep efficiency were found between the two groups. Conclusion: Preterm infants slept less and had a larger percentage of less restful sleep during nighttime. The results indicated that prematurity at the time of birth remained throughout the developmental course of sleep behaviors among preterm infants at around the age of 12 corrected months.

Bloemers J, Gerritsen J,  Bults R, Koppeschaar H, Everaerd W, Olivier B, Tuiten A. (March 2010). Induction of sexual arousal in women under conditions of institutional and ambulatory laboratory circumstances: A comparative study. Journal of Sexual Medicine,  7(3), 1160-1176.

Introduction: Measuring under naturally occurring circumstances increases ecological validity. We developed an ambulatory psychophysiological laboratory that allows experiments to be performed at home. Aims: To compare institutional laboratory task measures with ambulatory laboratory task measures. Main Outcome Measures: Vaginal pulse amplitude (VPA), clitoral blood volume (CBV), subjective report of sexual arousal, preconscious attentional bias for erotic stimuli, subjective reports about feeling at ease, tense, anxious or inhibited. Methods: VPA and CBV were measured in eight women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) and eight healthy controls while exposed to neutral and erotic film clips both in the institute’s laboratory and at home. Before and after film clip presentations, subjects performed an emotional Stroop task and completed two questionnaires. Results: In healthy controls, genital measures of sexual arousal were significantly increased at home compared with the institutional laboratory, whereas no differences were observed between the institutional laboratory and the at home measurements in women with HSDD. The responses at home were significantly higher in healthy controls compared with women with HSDD. Subjective experience of genital responding increased at home for both groups of women. Concordance between subjective experience and genital sexual arousal was more pronounced in the institutional laboratory setting. Preconscious attentional bias was stronger in the institutional laboratory for both groups of women. Healthy controls felt more at ease and less inhibited at home while subjects with HSDD did not. Conclusions: The use of an ambulatory laboratory is a valuable tool allowing psychophysiological (sex) research under more natural circumstances (e.g., a participant’s home). In this study, the increase in ecological validity resulted in a qualitative differentiation between the healthy controls and the women with HSDD in the home setting, which is not apparent in the artificial setting of the institutional laboratory.

Chakroun N, Johnson EI, Swendsen J. (March 2010). Mood and personality-based models of substance use. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors,  24(1),  129-136.

Mood and personality-based vulnerabilities have been extensively examined in patients with substance use disorders, but their relevance as models of etiology remains to be fully investigated. The present investigation examined mood and personality-based models of substance use in a nonclinical sample of young adults. Two-hundred and twelve individuals were assessed for personality and clinical characteristics and participated in computerized ambulatory monitoring of mood states and substance use over a 1-week period. Personality factors were strong predictors of substance use frequency over the previous 30 days, as well as of substance use in daily life using ambulatory monitoring. A linear increase was also observed in the intensity of novelty seeking and antisocial personality traits as a function of the social deviance of substances used. However, mood disorder history was related only to the use of illicit drugs other than cannabis, and fluctuations in mood states did not prospectively predict daily use of substances in a manner consistent with self-medication. Moreover, there was little evidence that personality characteristics moderated relations between mood states and substance use in daily life. The relevance of results for mood and personality models of substance use etiology is discussed.

Claessens BJC,  van Eerde W, Rutte CG, Roe RA. (Apr 2010). Things to do today…: A daily diary study on task completion at work. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 59(2), 273-295.

Relatively little is known about how goals in complex jobs are translated into action and how they are completed in real life settings. This study addressed the question to what extent planned work may actually be completed on a daily basis. The completion of daily work goals was studied in a sample of 878 tasks identified by 29 R&D engineers with the help of a daily diary. Multilevel analysis was used to analyse the joint effect of task attributes, perceived job characteristics, and personality attributes on the completion of planned work goals. At the level of task attributes, we found that priority, urgency, and lower importance were related to task completion, and at the individual level, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and time management training. Task completion was not related to task attractiveness, workload, job autonomy, planning, or perceived control of time.

Cleveland HH, Harris KS. (Jan 2010). The role of coping in moderating within-day associations between negative triggers and substance use cravings: A daily diary investigation. Addictive Behaviors, 35(1), 60-63.

To address the lack of research examining within-person processes associated with the maintenance of abstinence from substance use, this study examines both associations between negative affect and social experiences and same-day levels of substance use cravings among college students in ‘Twelve-Step’ substance abuse recovery and the role of coping strategies in moderating these within-day associations. The sample consisted of 1222 end-of-day reports made by 55 recovering college students, 39 males and 16 females. Findings include that daily cravings were predicted by same-day negative affect and each of four negative social experiences. Moreover, each of these within-day associations was moderated by individuals’ levels of avoidance coping. In contrast, problem-solving coping only moderated the associations between negative affect and cravings. These findings document a within-day mechanism through which coping strategies, especially avoidance coping, may influence daily variation in cravings and in turn affect abstinence.

Courvoisier DS, Eid M, Lischetzke T, Schreiber WH. (Feb 2010). Psychometric properties of a computerized mobile phone method for assessing mood in daily life. Emotion, 10(1), 115-124.

Ecological momentary assessment is a method that is now largely used to study behavior and mood in the settings in which they naturally occur. It maximizes ecological validity and avoids the limitations of retrospective self-reports. Studies on the psychometric properties of scales administered via mobile phone ecological momentary assessment are lacking. Therefore, we collected data on a 4-item mood scale measuring well being on six occasions per day for 7 days (N = 307) and examined compliance rate across time, within day, and within week. Using specific latent state-trait structural equation models, we analyzed the degree to which interindividual mood differences on an occasion of measurement were because of (a) measurement error, (b) stable differences in mood level, and (c) occasion-specific differences. Results show good compliance (mean compliance: 74.9% of calls answered). Moreover, the scale showed good reliability (M = .82). Mood was mostly stable, especially the first 3 days of the week. It depended weakly albeit significantly on the previous assessment (autoregressive coefficient). In conclusion, computerized mobile phone assessment is an appropriate, easy-to-use, and promising method to measure mood. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved) Subjects: Emotional States; Measurement; Psychometrics; Cellular Phones; Adolescence (13-17 yrs); Adulthood (18 yrs & older); Young Adulthood (18-29 yrs); Thirties (30-39 yrs); Middle Age (40-64 yrs); Male; Female

Daly M, Delaney L, Doran PP, Harmon C, MacLachlan M. (March 2010). Naturalistic monitoring of the affect-heart rate relationship: A day reconstruction study. Health Psychology, 29(2), 186-195.

Objective: Prospective studies have linked negative affect with hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and mortality. This study aims to identify if cardiovascular activity in day-to-day settings is related to affect levels as assessed using the Day Reconstruction Method (Kahneman, Krueger, Schkade, Schwarz, & Stone, 2004). Design: 186 people underwent baseline physiological testing and were monitored naturalistically for an entire day. Multilevel models were the principal analyses used. Main Outcome Measures: We utilized an online day reconstruction survey to produce a continuous account of affect, social interactions, and activity patterns during waking hours. Ambulatory heart rate (HR) was assessed during the same period. Personality, health behavior, consumption, self-reported activity, and baseline physiological characteristics were assessed to isolate the relationships between affect and HR. Results: Negative affect predicted an elevated ambulatory HR and tiredness predicted a lower HR. Associations between negative affectivity and increased cardiovascular reactivity were maintained after taking account of baseline physiological factors, health behavior, and personality. Conclusion: Negative affect in everyday life is a reliable predictor of HR. Combining day reconstruction with psychophysiological and environmental monitoring is a minimally invasive method with promising interdisciplinary relevance.

DeSantis AS, Adam EK, Mendelsohn KA, Doane LD. (March 2010). Concordance between self-reported and objective wakeup times in ambulatory salivary cortisol research. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 17(1), 74-78.

Background: Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis functioning has implications for physical and mental health. One important indicator of HPA axis functioning, the salivary cortisol awakening response (CAR), is sensitive to whether participants provide their samples at the requested times after waking. Purpose: To examine the extent to which adolescents report morning wakeup times accurately, test the impact of inaccurate waketime reporting on compliance with a salivary cortisol sampling protocol designed to estimate the CAR, and to examine the implications of non-compliance for CAR estimates. Method: In a sample of 91 late adolescents, objective waketimes determined using actigraphy were compared to self-reported waketimes. Associations between accuracy of waketimes and compliance with requested morning cortisol sampling timings (wakeup and 30 min post-awakening) were examined, as were implications of non-compliance for the size of the CAR. Results: In terms of accuracy, 72% of self-reported waketimes were within 5 min and 90% were within 15 min of objective waketimes. Individuals who were more than 5 min discrepant in their waketime reporting, however, had a 90% decrease in their likelihood of being compliant—taking both morning cortisol samples within the requested time frames after waking. However, CARs were significantly lower only among individuals whose subjective and objective waketimes differed by more than 15 min. Conclusions: Self-reported waketimes were reasonably accurate when compared to objective estimates of time of waking. When available, however, estimates of compliance are improved by knowledge of objective waketimes, resulting in increased accuracy of CAR estimates.

Doane LD, Adam EK. (Apr 2010). Loneliness and cortisol: Momentary, day-to-day, and trait associations. Psychoneuroendocrinology,  35(3), 430-441.

In attempts to understand the social determinants of health, strong associations have been found between measures of loneliness, physiological stress processes, and physical and mental health outcomes. Feelings of loneliness are hypothesized to have implications for physiological stress processes, including activity of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. In a community sample of young adults, multilevel modeling was used to examine whether trait and state feelings of loneliness were related to changes in levels of the stress-sensitive hormone cortisol, and whether the associations between loneliness and cortisol were mediated or moderated by the presence of concurrent depression or high levels of chronic life stress. Results indicated that trait loneliness was associated with a flattening of the diurnal cortisol rhythm. In addition, both daily and momentary state variations in loneliness were related to cortisol. Prior day feelings of loneliness were associated with an increased cortisol awakening response the next morning and momentary experiences of loneliness during the day were associated with momentary increases in cortisol among youth who also had high chronic interpersonal stress. Results were significant after covarying current depression, both chronic and momentary reports of stress, and medical and lifestyle covariates. This study expanded on prior work by investigating and revealing three different time courses of association between loneliness and HPA axis activity in young adults: trait, daily and momentary.

Engel SG, Wonderlich SA. (2010). New technologies in treatments for eating disorders. In: The treatment of eating disorders: A clinical handbook. Grilo CM (Ed.) Mitchell  JE (Ed.).  New York, NY, US: Guilford Press,  500-509.

(from the chapter) Clinicians delivering mental health services obviously want their treatments to be effective, accessible, and cost-effective. There has been increased interest in the employment of new technologies as tools to enhance the likelihood of reaching these goals, and this literature has grown dramatically over the last decade. A recent review summarizes the large number of psychiatric disorders for which treatment by computer and Internet-based interventions has been described: obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, insomnia, schizophrenia, phobias, alcohol and drug problems, panic disorders, smoking, pain, encopresis, asthma, depression, and eating disorders. In addition to computer and Internet-based treatments, a number of other technology-based interventions and/or adjuncts to treatment has also been piloted and/or evaluated. CD-ROM, e-mail, text messaging, telemedicine, and virtual reality have received attention regarding their potential benefit in the treatment of various forms of psychopathology. In an effort to make care more accessible to patients and provide cost-effective interventions, clinicians and researchers in the eating disorder (ED) field have also begun to make use of technology-based options in the treatment of their patients. This chapter provides a selective overview of some of the new technologies that have been used in the treatment of patients with EDs and reviews the available information on their utility.

Epstein K, DH, Marrone GF, Heishman SJ, Schmittner J, Preston KL. (Apr 2010). Tobacco, cocaine, and heroin: Craving and use during daily life. Addict Behav. , 35(4), 318-24.

BACKGROUND: Relationships among tobacco smoking, tobacco craving, and other drug use and craving may have treatment implications in polydrug-dependent individuals. METHODS: We conducted the first ecological momentary assessment (EMA) study to investigate how smoking is related to other drug use and craving during daily life. For up to 20 weeks, 106 methadone-maintained outpatients carried PalmPilots (PDAs). They reported their craving, mood, behaviors, environment, and cigarette-smoking status in 2 to 5 random-prompt entries/day and initiated PDA entries when they used cocaine or heroin or had a discrete episode of craving for cocaine or heroin. RESULTS: Smoking frequency increased linearly with random-prompt ratings of tobacco craving, cocaine craving, and craving for both cocaine and heroin. Smoking frequency was greater during discrete episodes of cocaine use and craving than during random-prompt reports of low craving for cocaine. This pattern was also significant for dual cocaine and heroin use and craving. Smoking and tobacco craving were each considerably reduced during periods of urine-verified abstinence from cocaine, and there was a (nonsignificant) tendency for morning smoking to be especially reduced during those periods. CONCLUSIONS: This EMA study confirms that smoking and tobacco craving are strongly associated with the use of and craving for cocaine and heroin. Together with prior findings, our data suggest that tobacco and cocaine may each increase craving for (and likelihood of continued use of) themselves and each other. Treatment for tobacco dependence should probably be offered concurrently with (rather than only after) initiation of treatment for other substance-use disorders. 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Gijbels D, Alders G, Van Hoof E, Charlier C, Roelants M, Broekmans T, Op ‘t Eijnde B, Feys P. (March 2010). Predicting habitual walking performance in multiple sclerosis: relevance of capacity and self-report measures. Mult Scler. [Epub ahead of print]

The objective was to establish the extent to which physical functioning capacity and self-report measures are able to predict the habitual walking performance in ambulatory persons with multiple sclerosis. Fifty persons with multiple sclerosis (Expanded Disability Status Scale, EDSS, 1.5-6.5) were tested on leg muscle strength as well as walking and balance capacity, and completed self-report indices on perceived physical functioning. Habitual walking performance, that is, the real amount of steps that is performed in the customary living environment, was registered by means of an ambulant accelerometer-based monitor during seven consecutive days. Mild (EDSS 1.5-4.0, n = 29) and moderate (EDSS 4.5-6.5, n = 21) multiple sclerosis subgroups were additionally distinguished as predictor variables and values were hypothesized to differ depending on multiple sclerosis severity and concomitant ambulatory function. Multiple regression analyses yielded a single most significant predictor for each (sub)group with other variables making no independent contribution to the variation in habitual walking performance. For the total study sample, this was the 6-Minute Walking Test (R(2 )= 0.458, p < 0.01). In the mild multiple sclerosis subgroup, the 6-Minute Walking Test was again most predictive, yet to a modest degree (R(2 )= 0.187, p = 0.02). In the moderate multiple sclerosis subgroup, the 2-Minute Walking Test explained over half of the variance (R(2 )= 0.532, p < 0.01). Habitual walking performance is best reflected by longer walking capacity tests. The extent to which it can be predicted based on clinical testing is larger in a multiple sclerosis patient sample with more severe walking disability. Ambulatory monitoring, however, includes aspects of community ambulation not captured in the clinic, and must be considered as an additional outcome for evaluating interventions in multiple sclerosis.

Goldner JS. (2010). The relations among parental monitoring and warmth, and adolescent externalizing and internalizing distress: The effects of parent and adolescent perception of neighborhood danger. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 70(7-B), 4483.

Parental monitoring and warmth have traditionally been studied in the context of white, middle-class families. This paper adds to recent research that has begun to explore what levels of these parenting behaviors are optimal for the prevention of adolescent psychopathology in impoverished, urban high crime areas. It also takes into account parent and child perceptions of neighborhood danger. This study employs a longitudinal design, with data collected at two times points one year apart, among a sample of 240 African American young adolescents and their parents in urban, high crime neighborhoods. It aims to study parental monitoring, parental warmth, parent perception of neighborhood danger, child perception of neighborhood danger, child internalizing distress, and child externalizing distress. Further, child internalizing and externalizing distress are measured both through retrospective questionnaire reports of psychopathology as well as in vivo accounts of daily distress through the use of the Experience Sampling Method (ESM), a time sampling technique. Parents’ perception of neighborhood danger predicted an increase in adolescents’ externalizing behavior, but not internalizing distress. Contrary to expectation, parents’ awareness of danger did not relate to the degree to which they monitored their children. Parental monitoring was associated with children’s externalizing behavior, although a hypothesized quadratic relation between parents’ monitoring and externalizing did not exist. Both linear and quadratic relations were discovered between parental monitoring and children’s internalizing distress. One of the most consistent predictors of adolescents’ distress, surprisingly, was their perception of neighborhood danger, which was associated with higher levels of both adolescent internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Adolescents’ perception of neighborhood danger emerged as an equally strong predictor of internalizing and externalizing symptoms as parental monitoring and parental warmth. The rate of parent-child agreement regarding the presence of extreme levels of danger was lower than expected. Finally, differential relations existed between parental monitoring and parental warmth as they pertained to internalizing and externalizing. In general, parental monitoring more strongly predicted adolescent externalizing than parental warmth; however, parental warmth was a stronger predictor of adolescent internalizing than parental monitoring. Significant interactions are also discussed, as well as the implications of these findings and how they can serve as a guide to future research.

Goldner J, Peters TL, Richards MH, Pearce S. (March 2010). Exposure to Community Violence and Protective and Risky Contexts Among Low Income Urban African American Adolescents: A Prospective Study. J Youth Adolesc.  [Epub ahead of print]

This study examined protective and risky companionship and locations for exposure to community violence among African American young adolescents living in high crime, urban areas. The Experience Sampling Method (ESM), an in vivo data collection method, was employed to gather information from 233 students (62% female) over 3 years, beginning in the 6th grade. Questionnaire variables of exposure to community violence were regressed onto ESM companionship and location variables, cross-sectionally and longitudinally, separately for boys and girls. At different points, time spent with parents, in school, and outside in private space was associated with less exposure to violence for boys and girls, while time spent with girls was protective for boys. In addition, time spent outside in public and with older peers was associated with increased risk for boys and girls. These findings are discussed in relation to previous and potential future research, and to strategies to prevent exposure to community violence.

Grandhi S, Jones Q. (Jan 2010). Technology-mediated interruption management. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies.

Previous research into providing interpersonal technology-mediated interruption management support has predominantly been conducted from a paradigmatic standpoint that focused on modeling the context of the person being interrupted (interruptee) such as his/her mental workload, activity and location as a means to identify opportune/inopportune moments for communication. However, the utility of this approach and the associated design implications are questioned by the interruption value evaluation paradigm, which holds that interpersonal interruption management decisions are often made by people assessing factors such as who the interruption is from and what it is about (the relational context). To assess the validity of the competing assumptions underlining these paradigms about everyday interpersonal interruption management, a field study of interruption management practices in everyday cell phone use was conducted. Analysis of 1201 incoming calls from our experience sampling method study of cell phone use shows that “who” is calling is used most of the time (87.4%) by individuals to make deliberate call handling decisions (N=834), in contrast to the interruptee’s current local social (34.9%) or cognitive (43%) contexts. Building on these findings, we present a theoretical framework that aids in understanding the design space of interruption management tools that focus on reducing uncertainty of the interruption context to improve interruption management decisions.

Grossman P, Wilhelm FH, Brutsche M. (Feb 2010). Accuracy of ventilatory measurement employing ambulatory inductive plethysmography during tasks of everyday life.  Biological Psychology.

Ambulatory inductive plethysmography (AIP) has recently been introduced to permit monitoring of ventilation outside the clinic and laboratory. It provides a method for nonintrusive assessment of both timing (e.g. respiration rate; RR) and volumetric parameters (e.g. tidal volume and minute ventilation volume; VT and V′E, respectively). Although inductive plethysmography has been validated in laboratory investigations, quantitative validation during ambulatory, naturalistic conditions has not yet been assessed. Should AIP yield accurate estimation of ventilatory parameters, real-life monitoring of breathing pattern may provide new insights into respiratory functioning in health and disease. We examined the accuracy of AIP for assessing RR, VT and V′E during a 90-min protocol simulating activities of everyday life. A mobile backpack metabolic cart with integrated flowmeter was employed as the reference standard. Within- and between-participant minute-by-minute comparisons were made for each ventilatory measure among 9 healthy adults. Average within-participant minute-by-minute correlations between reference method and AIP were 0.96, 0.91 and 0.92 for V′E, VT and RR, respectively. Average correlations across participants yielded r’s of 0.98, 0.98 and 1.0. Analysis of mean task levels across participants revealed, in all cases, very close correspondences between both methods of measurement, with only a significant but minor deviance during a period of supine posture. Additionally, results indicated that within-individual variations in oxygen consumption were highly correlated with AIP-estimated V′E, suggesting that ambulatory assessment of V′E may provide a reliable index of metabolic activity during everyday life.

Hall KS, McAuley E. (March 2010). Individual, social environmental and physical environmental barriers to achieving 10 000 steps per day among older women. Health Educ Res.  [Epub ahead of print]

This study examined the determinants of attaining/not attaining 10 000 steps per day among older women. Methods: Daily step counts over 7 days were measured using accelerometry. Self-reported environmental characteristics, self-efficacy, social support and functional limitations were assessed in 128 older women. The presence of areas for activity within 1 km of each participant’s residence was assessed using Geographic Information Systems. Multivariate analysis of variances were used to examine the degree to which these groups differed on measured constructs, and discriminant analysis was used to determine the profiles that discriminate among those who did not attain 10 000 steps per day and those who did. Results: Participants who did not attain 10 000 steps per day reported lower self-efficacy (P < 0.05), greater functional limitations (P < 0.05), had significantly fewer walking paths (P < 0.05) within 1 km of their home and reported significantly less street connectivity (P < 0.05) and safety from traffic (P < 0.05) than those who achieved 10 000 steps per day. Conclusion: Lack of perceived and actual environmental supports for walking, more functional limitations and lower self-efficacy are barriers to achieving 10 000 steps per day. The absence of these individual and environmental characteristics inhibits walking behavior in older women and should be considered in campaigns to promote a physically active lifestyle. PMID: 20348166 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Heron KE, Smyth JM. (Feb 2010). Ecological momentary interventions: Incorporating mobile technology into psychosocial and health behaviour treatments. British Journal of Health Psychology, 15(1), 1-39.

Purpose: Psychosocial and health behaviour treatments and therapies can be extended beyond traditional research or clinical settings by using mobile technology to deliver interventions to individuals as they go about their daily lives. These ecological momentary interventions (EMIs) are treatments that are provided to people during their everyday lives (i.e. in real time) and in natural settings (i.e. real world). The goal of the present review is to synthesize and critique mobile technology-based EMI aimed at improving health behaviours and psychological and physical symptoms. Methods: Twenty-seven interventions using palmtop computers or mobile phones to deliver ambulatory treatment for smoking cessation, weight loss, anxiety, diabetes management, eating disorders, alcohol use, and healthy eating and physical activity were identified. Results: There is evidence that EMI can be successfully delivered, are accepted by patients, and are efficacious for treating a variety of health behaviours and physical and psychological symptoms. Limitations of the existing literature were identified and recommendations and considerations for research design, sample characteristics, measurement, statistical analyses, and clinical implementation are discussed. Conclusions: Mobile technology-based EMI can be effectively implemented as interventions for a variety of health behaviours and psychological and physical symptoms. Future research should integrate the assessment and intervention capabilities of mobile technology to create dynamically and individually tailored EMI that are ecologically sensitive.

Jacobs N, van Os J, Derom C, Thiery E, Delespaul P, Wichers M. (March 2010). Neuroticism explained? From a non-informative vulnerability marker to informative person-context interactions in the realm of daily life. Br J Clin Psychol. [Epub ahead of print]

Objectives Despite the well-replicated finding that neuroticism is associated with increased susceptibility for psychopathology, it remains unclear what ‘vulnerability as indexed by neuroticism’ represents in terms of everyday life emotional processes. This study examined the association between neuroticism and six phenotypes of daily life emotional responses: positive affect (PA), negative affect (NA), PA variability, NA variability, stress sensitivity, and reward experience, and investigated the contribution of genetic and environmental factors to these associations. Design A prospective cohort study in a population-based sample of 416 adult female twins. Method A momentary assessment approach (experience sampling method) was used to collect multiple assessments of affect in daily life. Neuroticism was assessed with the Eysenck Personality Scale. Multi-level regression analyses were carried out to examine the association between neuroticism and the phenotypes of daily life emotional responses. Cross-twin, cross-trait analyses, and bivariate structural equation modelling (SEM) were performed in order to investigate the nature of these associations. Results A high neuroticism score was associated with lower momentary PA levels and increased NA variability, independent of momentary NA, PA variability, stress sensitivity, and reward experience. Both the cross-twin, cross-trait analyses, and the bivariate SEM showed that unique, non-shared environmental factors drive the association between neuroticism and PA and that the association between neuroticism and increased NA variability is based on shared genetic factors as well as individual-specific environmental factors. Conclusions Neuroticism as measured by Eysenck questionnaire may index an environmental risk for decreased daily life PA levels and a genetic as well as an environmental risk for increased NA variability. Decomposing the broad measure of neuroticism into measurable persons-context interactions increases its ‘informative’ value in explaining psychopathology.

Kassel JD (Ed.) (2010). Substance abuse and emotion. Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association,  xii, 297 pp.

(from the jacket) The devastating psychological, physical, and spiritual damage wrought by the misuse of drugs is indisputable. However, there is a recurring debate over the causes of substance abuse that typically divides along two common assumptions: People abuse drugs and alcohol either out of sheer pleasure-seeking drives run amok or to escape or assuage aversive states of comorbid anxiety or depression. Substance Abuse and Emotion goes beyond this dichotomy in its exploration of recent significant field observations, theory construction and rigorous testing, and laboratory research to advance working models for a new research paradigm on substance abuse and comorbidity. Notably, the relationship between drugs and emotion is emerging as paramount in understanding drug abuse etiology, maintenance, and relapse. Part I of this edited volume examines various theoretical perspectives on the interrelationship between substance abuse and emotion, such as craving and positive/negative reinforcement; cognitive theories; relapse; and developmental, sociobiological, and evolutionary perspectives. Part II explores new assessment methodologies, such as “ecological momentary assessment” and the linkage between affect and cognitive deficits among drug users. The book concludes with a research agenda that will expand the volumes new paradigm in understanding and treating substance abuse.

Krajnik M, Damps-Konstanska I, Gorska L, Jassem E. (March 2010). A portable automatic cough analyser in the ambulatory assessment of cough. Biomed Eng Online, 9(17) [Epub ahead of Print].

BACKGROUND: Cough is one of the main symptoms of advanced lung disease. However, the efficacy of currently available treatment remains unsatisfactory. Research into the new antitussives requires an objective assessment of cough. METHODS: The aim of the study was to test the feasibility of a new automatic portable cough analyser and assess the correlation between subjective and objective evaluations of cough in 13 patients with chronic cough. The patients’ individual histories, a cough symptom score and a numeric cough scale (1-10) were used as a subjective evaluation of cough and a computerized audio-timed recorder was used to measure the frequency of coughing. RESULTS: The pre-clinical validation has shown that an automated cough analyser is an accurate and reliable tool for the ambulatory assessment of chronic cough. In the clinical part of the experiment for the daytime, subjective cough scoring correlated with the number of all cough incidents recorded by the cough analyser (r = 0.63; p = 0.022) and the number of cough incidents per hour (r = 0.60; p = 0.03). However, there was no relation between cough score and the time spent coughing per hour (r = 0.48; p = 0.1). As assessed for the night-time period, no correlation was found between subjective cough scoring and the number of incidents per hour (r = 0.29; p = 0.34) or time spent coughing (r = 0.26; p = 0.4). CONCLUSION: An automated cough analyser seems to be a feasible tool for the ambulatory monitoring of cough. There is a moderate correlation between subjective and objective assessments of cough during the daytime, whereas the discrepancy in the evaluation of night-time coughing might suggest that subjective analysis is unreliable.

Kubiak T, Wittig A, Koll C, Mraz B, Gustav J, Herrmann U, Weber H, Kerner W. (Apr 2010). Continuous glucose monitoring reveals associations of glucose levels with QT interval length. Diabetes Technol Ther, 12(4), 283-6.

BACKGROUND: QTc interval lengthening during hypoglycemia is discussed as a mechanism linked to sudden death in diabetes patients and the so-called “dead in bed syndrome.” Previous research reported a high interindividual variability in the glucose-QTc association. The present study aimed at deriving parameters for direction and strength of the glucose-QTc association on the patient level using combined Holter electrocardiogram (ECG) and continuous glucose monitoring. METHODS: Twenty type 1 diabetes patients were studied: mean (SD, range) age, 43.6 (10.8, 22-65) years; gender male (n [%]), 10 (50.0%); mean (SD) hemoglobin A1C, 8.5% (1.0%); and impaired hypoglycemia awareness (n [%]), six (30.0%). Continuous interstitial glucose monitoring and Holter ECG monitoring were performed for 48 h. Hierarchical (mixed) regression modeling was used to account for the structure of the data. RESULTS: Glucose levels during nighttime were negatively associated with QTc interval length if the data structure was accounted for (b [SE] = -0.76 [0.17], P = 0.000). Exploratory regression analysis revealed hypoglycemia awareness as the only predictor of the individual strength of the glucose-QTc association, with the impaired awareness group showing less evidence for an association of low glucose with QTc lengthening. CONCLUSIONS: Mixed regression allows for deriving parameters for the glucose-QTc association on the patient level. Consistent with previous studies, we found a large interindividual variability in the glucose-QTc association. The finding on impaired hypoglycemia awareness patients has to be interpreted with caution but provides some support for the role of sympathetic activation for the QTc-glucose link.

Litwin M, Simonetti GD, Niemirska A, Ruzicka M, Wühl E, Schaefer F, Feber J. (Apr 2010). Altered cardiovascular rhythmicity in children with white coat and ambulatory hypertension. Pediatr Res., 67(4), 419-23.

Adults with ambulatory hypertension or white coat hypertension (WCH) display abnormal cardiovascular rhythms. We studied cardiovascular rhythms by Fourier analysis of 24-h ambulatory blood pressure (BP) measurement profiles in 129 hypertensive children, 54 children with WCH, and 146 age-, height-, and gender-matched healthy subjects. The day/night mean arterial pressure ratio was lower in hypertensive and patients with WCH compared with controls (1.13 versus 1.16 versus 1.21, respectively; p < 0.0001). Eighty-five percent of controls were dippers compared with 74% of WCH (n.s.) and 64% of patients with ambulatory hypertension (p < 0.0001). The prevalence of 24-h rhythms was similar among the groups, but prevalence of 12-h BP rhythms was increased in hypertensive (67%) and WCH (72%) compared with controls (51%, p < 0.0001). The amplitudes of the 24-, 8-, and 6-h BP rhythms were reduced in hypertensive and WCH compared with controls (p < 0.05). Hypertensive and patients with WCH displayed delayed 24-, 12-, 8-, 6-h acrophases in comparison with controls (p < 0.05). In conclusion, hypertensive children exhibit abnormal cardiovascular rhythmicity compared with controls, especially a higher prevalence of nondipping compared with normotensive children. Abnormalities in patients with WCH are intermediate between healthy children and patients with ambulatory hypertension.

Mermelstein R, Hedeker D, Weinstein S. (2010). Ecological momentary assessment of mood-smoking relationships in adolescent smokers.  In: Substance abuse and emotion. Kassel, Jon D. (Ed.); Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association, 2010, 217-236.

(from the chapter) Experimentation with cigarette smoking remains a common phenomenon among adolescents, with 46.2% of high school seniors having tried smoking in 2007 (Johnston, O’Malley, Bachman, & Schulenberg, 2008). Not all adolescents who try cigarette smoking continue to smoke, however. In 2007, 12.3% of high school seniors smoked daily (Johnston et al., 2008). Although these prevalence rates represent a noticeable decline from peak lifetime prevalence rates of greater than 75% in the mid-1970s and 28.8% for daily smoking in 1977, they are still a cause of concern, considering both the enormous health consequences of smoking (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1994) and the difficulty most adolescents have in stopping smoking once they escalate to more frequent levels (Mermelstein, 2003). A critical step in reducing the toll from smoking is preventing or interrupting the progression from those first cigarettes to continued use. Unfortunately, we know relatively little about the trajectories from first cigarette to more established smoking or about the factors that may influence this progression. Factors that influence progression may be quite distinct from those that influence first trials with cigarettes (Flay, Hu, & Richardson, 1998; Turner, Mermelstein, & Flay, 2004). For example, whereas social influence processes are well established predictors of initial experimentation, mood or emotional factors may play more of a role in progression beyond initial trials with smoking (Eissenberg & Balster, 2000; Turner et al., 2004). The goal of this chapter is to provide a more in-depth examination of the relationship between mood and smoking among adolescents who have initiated smoking. Toward this end, we highlight some essential methodological issues in understanding the mood-smoking relationship among adolescents, with a focus on the unique opportunities available to examine these relationships using ecological momentary assessment (EMA).

Mezick EJ, Matthews KA, Hall M, Kamarck TW, Strollo PJ, Buysse DJ, Owens JF, Reis SE. (March 2010). Low life purpose and high hostility are related to an attenuated decline in nocturnal blood pressure. Health Psychology,  29(2), 196-204.

Objective: An attenuation of the nighttime decline in blood pressure (BP) predicts cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular-related mortality, beyond daytime BP levels. We investigated whether positive and negative psychological attributes were associated with sleep–wake BP ratios and examined sleep parameters as potential mediators of these relationships. Design: Two hundred twenty-four participants (50% men; 43% Black; mean age = 60 years) underwent ambulatory BP monitoring for 2 days and nights. Self-reports of positive and negative psychological attributes were collected. In-home polysomnography was conducted for 2 nights, and a wrist actigraph was worn for 9 nights. Main Outcome Measures: Sleep–wake mean arterial pressure (MAP) ratios. Results: After adjustment for demographics, body mass index, and hypertensive status, low life purpose and high hostility were associated with high sleep–wake MAP ratios. Depression, anxiety, and optimism were not related to MAP ratios. Sleep latency, fragmentation, architecture, and the apnea–hypopnea index were examined as potential mediators between psychological attributes and MAP ratios; only long sleep latency mediated the relationship between hostility and MAP ratios. Conclusion: Low life purpose and high hostility are associated with high sleep–wake BP ratios in Black and White adults, and these relationships are largely independent of sleep.

Minassian A, Henry BL, Geyer MA, Paulus MP, Young JW, Perry W. (Jan 2010). The quantitative assessment of motor activity in mania and schizophrenia. Journal of Affective Disorders, 120(1-3),  200-206.

Background: Increased motor activity is a cardinal feature of the mania of Bipolar Disorder (BD), and is thought to reflect dopaminergic dysregulation. Motor activity in BD has been studied almost exclusively with self-report and observer-rated scales, limiting the ability to objectively quantify this behavior. We used an ambulatory monitoring device to quantify motor activity in BD and schizophrenia (SCZ) patients in a novel exploratory paradigm, the human Behavioral Pattern Monitor (BPM). Method: 28 patients in the manic phase of BD, 17 SCZ patients, and 21 nonpatient (NC) subjects were tested in the BPM, an unfamiliar room containing novel objects. Motor activity was measured with a wearable ambulatory monitoring device (LifeShirt). Results: Manic BD patients exhibited higher levels of motor activity when exploring the novel environment than SCZ and NC groups. Motor activity showed some modest relationships with symptom ratings of mania and psychosis and was not related to smoking or body mass index. Limitations: Although motor activity did not appear to be impacted significantly by antipsychotic or mood-stabilizing medications, this was a naturalistic study and medications were not controlled, thus limiting conclusions about potential medication effects on motor activity. Conclusion: Manic BD patients exhibit a unique signature of motoric overactivity in a novel exploratory environment. The use of an objective method to quantify exploration and motor activity may help characterize the unique aspects of BD and, because it is amenable to translational research, may further the study of the biological and genetic bases of the disease.

Mohr C, Armeli S, Tennen H, Todd M. (2010). The complexities of modeling mood-drinking relationships: Lessons learned from daily process research. In: Substance abuse and emotion. Kassel, JD. (Ed.); Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association, 2010, 189-216.

(from the chapter) Motivational models of alcohol consumption posit that adults drink to enhance positive experiences and to reduce the effects of negative experiences (Cooper, Frone, Russell, & Mudar, 1995; Cox & Klinger, 1988). The latter, referred to as drinking to cope (DTC) or tension-reduction drinking, is associated with alcohol-related problems (Cooper et al., 1995). Identifying and understanding DTC patterns is an important step in assessing and then preventing alcohol abuse. Although numerous cross-sectional or multiwave longitudinal studies have examined DTC, most have examined between-person associations of negative affect and drinking or have relied on individuals’ recall of their motivations, the reliability of which is questionable (e.g., Ptacek, Smith, Espe, & Raffety, 1994; Todd, Armeli, Tennen, Carney, & Affleck, 2003). Yet implicit in DTC theory is a dynamic process whereby negative events and emotions rapidly unfold and yield bidirectional influences with alcohol consumption, such that negative experiences increase alcohol consumption, which in turn increases negative experiences. Daily process designs in which events, emotions, and consumption are assessed close to the time they occur are uniquely suited to capturing these processes. Specifically, such studies address the question, Do individuals drink relatively more (or less) when they experience increases in stress and negative moods? Daily process studies have documented within-person negative mood-drinking associations in adult and college student populations, although results are often contradictory across studies. In this chapter, we briefly review daily process methodology and research findings from these studies related to tension-reduction drinking. We further explore the complexities of mood-drinking relationships by probing alternative analytical approaches, along with a consideration of within- and between-person moderators that may explicate when and for whom negative moods enhance alcohol consumption. We conclude with a discussion of the benefits and limitations of daily process methodology in assessing negative mood-related drinking (NMRD).

Mojza EJ, Lorenz C, Sonnentag S, Binnewies C. (Jan 2010). Daily recovery experiences: The role of volunteer work during leisure time. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 15(1), 60-74.

This study focused on the role of volunteer work for daily recovery from work. In a 1-week diary study with 166 employees, we assessed the amount of time spent on volunteer work during leisure time, and the recovery facets of psychological detachment from work (i.e., mentally switching off from work), mastery experiences (i.e., pursuing challenging activities), and community experiences (i.e., cultivating relationships) every day before participants went to bed. Results from hierarchical linear modeling (n = 529 days) showed volunteer work during leisure time to be positively related to mastery experiences and community experiences suggesting volunteer work to contribute to successful recovery by creating new resources.

Mor N, Doane LD, Adam EK, Mineka S, Zinbarg RE, Griffith JW, Craske MG, Waters A, Nazarian M. (Jan 2010). Within-person variations in self-focused attention and negative affect in depression and anxiety: A diary study. Cognition and Emotion, 24(1), 48-62.

This study examined within-person co-occurrence of self-focus, negative affect, and stress in a community sample of adolescents with or without emotional disorders. As part of a larger study, 278 adolescents were interviewed about emotional disorders. Later, they completed diary measures over three days, six times a day, reporting their current thoughts, affect, and levels of stress. Negative affect was independently related to both concurrent stress and self-focus. Importantly, the association between negative affect and self-focus was stronger among participants with a recent unipolar mood disorder, compared to those with an anxiety disorder, comorbid anxiety and depression, or those without an emotional disorder. The implications of these findings to theories of self-focus and its role in emotional disorders are discussed.

Nettlefold L, McKay HA, Warburton DE, McGuire KA, Bredin SS, Naylor PJ. (March 2010). The challenge of low physical activity during the school day: at recess, lunch and in physical education. Br J Sports Med. [Epub ahead of print]

Purpose To describe physical activity (PA) intensity across a school day and assess the percentage of girls and boys achieving recommended guidelines. Methods The authors measured PA via accelerometry in 380 children (8-11 years) and examined data representing (1) the whole school day, (2) regular class time, (3) recess, (4) lunch and (5) scheduled physical education (PE). Activity was categorised as sedentary (SED), light physical activity (LPA) or moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) using age-specific thresholds. They examined sex differences across PA intensities during each time period and compliance with recommended guidelines. Results Girls accumulated less MVPA and more SED than boys throughout the school day (MVPA -10.6 min; SED +13.9 min) recess (MVPA -1.6 min; SED +1.7 min) and lunch (MVPA -3.1 min; SED +2.9 min). Girls accumulated less MVPA (-6.2 min), less LPA (-2.5 min) and more SED (+9.4 min) than boys during regular class time. Fewer girls than boys achieved PA guidelines during school (90.9% vs 96.2%), recess (15.7% vs 34.1%) and lunch (16.7% vs 37.4%). During PE, only 1.8% of girls and 2.9% of boys achieved the PA guidelines. Girls and boys accumulated similar amounts of MVPA, LPA and SED. Conclusion The MVPA deficit in girls was due to their sedentary behaviour as opposed to LPA. Physical activity strategies that target girls are essential to overcome this deficit. Only a very small percentage of children met physical activity guidelines during PE. There is a great need for additional training and emphasis on PA during PE. In addition schools should complement PE with PA models that increase PA opportunities across the school day.

Overall NC, Sibley CG. (Feb 2010). Convergent and discriminant validity of the accommodation scale: Evidence from three diary studies.  Personality and Individual Differences, 48(3), 299-304.

Three independent diary studies supported the convergent and discriminant validity of the Accommodation Scale (Rusbult, Verette, Whitney, Slovik, & Lipkus, 1991) by testing whether questionnaire-measured accommodation predicted individual differences in accommodation during naturally-occurring relationship interactions. First, across the three samples, questionnaire-measured accommodation predicted levels of diary-reported accommodation within—and only within—interactions in which participants were experiencing conflict. Second, questionnaire-measured accommodation within family relationships predicted accommodation within interactions with family members but not within interactions with friends. Third, the effects were evident controlling for global self and relationship evaluations. This research highlights the utility of diary methodology to test whether questionnaires capture the specific situation-behavior linkages they are designed to measure.

Peterson CB. (2010). Assessment of eating disorder treatment efficacy. In: The treatment of eating disorders: A clinical handbook. Grilo, CM. (Ed., Mitchell  JE. (Ed.).  New York, NY, US: Guilford Press, 524-534.

(from the chapter) Assessing eating disorders (EDs) and associated symptoms in treatment outcome follows a series of steps that includes formulating hypotheses, defining variables, selecting instruments, and monitoring data quality. Regardless of the setting or the type of measure, assessment based on good clinical skills is essential to enhance the assessment process, improve the reliability and validity of data, and minimize attrition. Assessment is an integral part of treatment research as well as clinical practice.

Piasecki TM, Slutske WS, Wood PK, Hunt-Carter EE. (March 2010). Frequency and correlates of diary-measured hangoverlike experiences in a college sample. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors,  24(1), 163-169.

A sample of college students, oversampled for smoking (N = 127, 43% smokers), monitored their daily experiences using electronic diaries over 14 days. We examined the frequency and correlates of liberally defined hangoverlike experiences (HLEs) using data from 1,595 person-days (1,325 after abstention from drinking and 270 after drinking, including 125 HLEs). More than 40% of the sample reported at least one HLE, and nearly half of all drinking episodes were followed by HLE. Endorsement of HLE was more likely as the number of drinks increased and was associated with modest elevations of hangover symptoms. Gender did not predict rates of overall HLE endorsement, but male students were less likely than female students to report an HLE after a drinking episode and showed a weaker relation between number of drinks and HLE. Smokers were more likely to report HLE, but there was no evidence that smoking status was associated with increased HLE susceptibility. Self-reported parental alcohol problems were associated with more frequent HLE and incrementally predicted HLE endorsement when number of drinks was covaried. The findings suggest that HLE is a common outcome of college drinking and attest to the feasibility of using electronic diaries to assess its episode- and person-level correlates.

Poulin MJ, Brown SL, Ubel PA, Smith DM, Jankovic A, Langa KM. (March 2010). Does a helping hand mean a heavy heart? Helping behavior and well-being among spouse caregivers.  Psychology and Aging, 25(1), 108-117.

Being a caregiver for an ill or disabled loved one is widely recognized as a threat to the caregiver’s quality of life. Nonetheless, research indicates that helping behavior, broadly construed, promotes well-being. Could helping behavior in a caregiving context promote well-being as well? In the present study, we used ecological momentary assessment to measure active helping behavior and both positive and negative affect in 73 spouse caregivers. Results indicate that when controlling for care recipient illness status and functional impairment and caregiver “on call” caregiving time, active helping predicted greater caregiver positive affect—especially for individuals who perceived themselves as interdependent with their spouse. In addition, although both helping and on-call time predicted greater negative affect for caregivers who perceived low interdependence, helping was unrelated to negative affect among caregivers perceiving high interdependence. Helping valued loved ones may promote caregivers’ well-being.

Ray LA, Miranda R Jr., Tidey JW, McGeary JE, MacKillop J,  Gwaltney CJ, Rohsenow DJ, Swift RM, Monti PM. (Feb 2010). Polymorphisms of the μ-opioid receptor and dopamine D₄ receptor genes and subjective responses to alcohol in the natural environment.  Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 119(1), 115-125.

Polymorphisms of the μ-opioid receptor (OPRM1) and dopamine D₄ receptor (DRD4) genes are associated with subjective responses to alcohol and urge to drink under laboratory conditions. This study examined these associations in the natural environment using ecological momentary assessment. Participants were non-treatment-seeking heavy drinkers (n = 112, 52% female, 61% alcohol dependent) who enrolled in a study of naltrexone effects on craving and drinking in the natural environment. Data were culled from 5 consecutive days of drinking reports prior to medication randomization. Analyses revealed that, after drinking, carriers of the Asp40 allele of the OPRM1 gene reported higher overall levels of vigor and lower levels negative mood, as compared to homozygotes for the Asn40 variant. Carriers of the long allele (i.e., ≥7 tandem repeats) of the DRD4 endorsed greater urge to drink than homozygotes for the short allele. Effects of OPRM1 and DRD4 variable-number-of-tandem-repeats genotypes appear to be alcohol dose-dependent. Specifically, carriers of the DRD4-L allele reported slight decreases in urge to drink at higher levels of estimated blood alcohol concentration (eBAC), and Asp40 carriers reported decreases in vigor and increases in negative mood as eBAC rose, as compared to carriers of the major allele for each gene. Self-reported vigor and urge to drink were positively associated with alcohol consumption within the same drinking episode. This study extends findings on subjective intoxication, urge to drink, and their genetic bases from controlled laboratory to naturalistic settings.

Romero-Canyas R, Downey G, Berenson K, Ayduk, Ozlem; Kang, N. Jan (Feb 2010). Rejection sensitivity and the rejection-hostility link in romantic relationships.  Journal of Personality, 78(1), 119-148.

Rejection sensitivity is the disposition to anxiously expect, readily perceive, and intensely react to rejection. In response to perceived social exclusion, highly rejection sensitive people react with increased hostile feelings toward others and are more likely to show reactive aggression than less rejection sensitive people in the same situation. This paper summarizes work on rejection sensitivity that has provided evidence for the link between anxious expectations of rejection and hostility after rejection. We review evidence that rejection sensitivity functions as a defensive motivational system. Thus, we link rejection sensitivity to attentional and perceptual processes that underlie the processing of social information. A range of experimental and diary studies shows that perceiving rejection triggers hostility and aggressive behavior in rejection sensitive people. We review studies that show that this hostility and reactive aggression can perpetuate a vicious cycle by eliciting rejection from those who rejection sensitive people value most. Finally, we summarize recent work suggesting that this cycle can be interrupted with generalized self-regulatory skills and the experience of positive, supportive relationships.

Roenkae A, Malinen K, Kinnunen U, Tolvanen A, Laemsae T. (Feb 2010). Capturing daily family dynamics via text messages: Development of the mobile diary.  Community, Work & Family, 13(1), 5-21.

In this paper we introduce a new tool, the mobile phone, for use in diary research. We demonstrate, with reference to two family studies conducted in Finland, how daily family dynamics can be captured by using the mobile diary. In both studies family members sent text messages (SMSs) in answer to structured diary questions three times a day over a one-week period. The participants kept also paper-and-pencil diaries. Two mobile diary items measuring mood (stressfulness and feelings of competence) both at home and at work are reported here as examples. For both items we found statistically significant daily and weekly variation as well as individual fluctuation. The data gathered by the mobile diary were congruent but not identical with the data gathered by the paper-and-pencil diary. The mobile phone method of data collection facilitated participants’ answers at the agreed times and the participants reported that answering was easy and did not take too much time. The main limitation is the lack of space for answers; therefore, the few questions that are used have to be reliable and valid.

Schulz MS, Waldinger RJ. (2010). Capturing the elusive: Studying emotion processes in couple relationships.  ; In: Strengthening couple relationships for optimal child development: Lessons from research and intervention. Schulz MS (Ed.), Pruett MK (Ed.), Kerig PK (Ed.), Parke RD (Ed.). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association, 131-147.

(from the chapter) In this chapter, we describe our efforts to study emotion processes in couple interactions using multiple approaches and multiple windows of observation. We begin by briefly embedding these efforts in the larger context of research and theory on emotion processes in couples. We then discuss modern theories of emotion and note the challenges that these theories present for investigators. Finally, we review approaches to addressing major challenges in emotion research using examples from the field and from our own studies of couple interactions. These challenges include how to study emotion in ecologically valid situations; how to capture fleeting emotional experiences, including associated cognitive and motivational elements; how to reliably and sensitively assess emotion expression; and how to track and integrate multiple aspects of emotion (e.g., physiology, subjective feeling states, observed expression) as they unfold over time.

Shernoff DJ. (March 2010). Engagement in After-School Programs as a Predictor of Social Competence and Academic Performance. Am J Community Psychol [Epub ahead of print].

Using the experience sampling method, this study examined two questions related to outcomes associated with after-school programming. First, does the quality of experience in after-school programs mediate the effect of program participation on social competence and academic performance? Second, among program participants, is the difference in quality of experience when in programs versus other settings after school related to higher social competence and academic performance? Middle school students (N = 196) attending eight programs in three Midwestern states reported a total of 4,970 randomly sampled experiences in and out of after-school programs during 1 week in the fall and spring of the 2001-2002 academic year. Engagement during after-school hours partially mediated the relationship between participation in after-school programs and social competence. In addition, relative perceptions of engagement, challenge, and importance when in after-school programs compared to elsewhere after school predicted higher English and math grades. Results suggest that the quality of experiences in after-school programs may be a more important factor than quantity of experiences (i.e., dosage) in predicting positive academic outcomes.

Sievert LL, Reza A, Mills P, Morrison L, Rahberg N, Goodloe A, Sutherland M, Brown DE. (March 2010). Diurnal rhythm and concordance between objective and subjective hot flashes: the Hilo Women’s Health Study. Menopause [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE:: The aims of this study were to test for a diurnal pattern in hot flashes in a multiethnic population living in a hot, humid environment and to examine the rates of concordance between objective and subjective measures of hot flashes using ambulatory and laboratory measures. METHODS:: Study participants aged 45 to 55 years were recruited from the general population of Hilo, HI. Women wore a Biolog hot flash monitor (UFI, Morro Bay, CA), kept a diary for 24 hours, and also participated in 3-hour laboratory measures (n = 199). Diurnal patterns were assessed using polynomial regression. For each woman, objectively recorded hot flashes that matched subjective experience were treated as true-positive readings. Subjective hot flashes were considered the standard for computing false-positive and false-negative readings. True-positive, false-positive, and false-negative readings were compared across ethnic groups by chi analyses. RESULTS:: Frequencies of sternal, nuchal, and subjective hot flashes peaked at 1500 +/- 1 hours with no difference by ethnicity. Laboratory results supported the pattern seen in ambulatory monitoring. Sternal and nuchal monitoring showed the same frequency of true-positive measures, but nonsternal electrodes picked up more false-positive readings. Laboratory monitoring showed very low frequencies of false negatives. There were no ethnic differences in the frequency of true-positive or false-positive measures. Women of European descent were more likely to report hot flashes that were not objectively demonstrated (false-negative measures). CONCLUSIONS:: The diurnal pattern and peak in hot flash occurrence in the hot humid environment of Hilo were similar to results from more temperate environments. Lack of variation in sternal versus nonsternal measures and in true-positive measures across ethnicities suggests no appreciable effect of population variation in sweating patterns.

Steca P, Bassi M, Caprara GV, Fave AD. (March 2010). Parents’ Self-efficacy Beliefs and Their Children’s Psychosocial Adaptation During Adolescence. J Youth Adolesc  [Epub ahead of print].

Research has shown that parents’ perceived parental self-efficacy (PSE) plays a pivotal role in promoting their children’s successful adjustment. In this study, we further explored this issue by comparing psychosocial adaptation in children of parents with high and low PSE during adolescence. One hundred and thirty Italian teenagers (55 males and 75 females) and one of their parents (101 mothers and 29 fathers) participated in the research. Data were collected at T1 (adolescents’ mean age = 13.6) and T2 (mean age = 17.5). Parents reported their PSE at T1. At T1 and T2, adolescents reported their perceived academic self-efficacy, aggressive and violent conducts, well-being, and perceived quality of their relationships with parents. At T2, they were also administered questions by using Experience Sampling Method to assess their quality of experience in daily life. As hypothesized, adolescents with high PSE parents reported higher competence, freedom and well-being in learning activities as well as in family and peer interactions. They also reported fewer problematic aspects and more daily opportunities for optimal experience. Findings pointed to the stability of adolescents’ psychosocial adaptation and highlighted possible directions in future research.

Suveg C, Payne M, Thomassin K, Jacob ML. (March 2010). Electronic diaries: A feasible method of assessing emotional experiences in youth? Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment,  32(1), 57-67. [Journal Article]

The primary goal of this study was to examine whether electronic diaries are a feasible method of monitoring transitory emotional states with a school-age, community sample of youth. A second goal was to examine preliminary relations between indices of emotional functioning captured via electronic diaries and other measures of child emotional and psychological functioning. Participants included 38 youth between the ages of 7 and 12 (51% males, M age = 9 [1.52] years and 49% females, M age = 9 [1.94] years) and their mothers (M age = 39 years) and fathers (M age = 42 years). Children were prompted to indicate the intensity of their current emotion four times a day for 1 week using Palm Tungsten E2s. Youth also completed self-report measures of emotion intensity, awareness, and dysregulation. Parents completed measures of child emotion regulation and symptoms of externalizing and internalizing psychopathology. Sixty percent of the prompts were answered as intended. Higher levels of positive emotion intensity based on electronic diary ratings were negatively related to parent reports of adaptive emotion regulation and were positively related to youths’ reports of emotion dysregulation and poor emotion awareness. Given that the electronic diary data offered unique information on youth emotional functioning, strategies to increase compliance with the diaries are suggested.

Uy MA, Foo M, Aguinis H. (Jan 2010). Using experience sampling methodology to advance entrepreneurship theory and research.  Organizational Research Methods,  13(1), 31-54.

The authors propose the use of experience sampling methodology (ESM) as an innovative methodological approach to address critical questions in entrepreneurship research. ESM requires participants to provide reports of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors at multiple times across situations as they happen in the natural environment. Thus, ESM allows researchers to capture dynamic person-by-situation interactions as well as between- and within-person processes, improve the ecological validity of results, and minimize retrospective biases. The authors provide a step-by-step description of how to design and implement ESM studies beginning with research design and ending with data analysis, and including issues of implementation such as time and resources needed, participant recruitment and orientation, signaling procedures, and the use of computerized devices and wireless technologies. The authors also describe a cell phone ESM protocol that enables researchers to monitor and interact with participants in real time, reduces costs, expedites data entry, and increases convenience. Finally, the authors discuss implications of ESM-based research for entrepreneurs, business incubators, and entrepreneurship educators.

Weikert M, Motl RW, Suh Y, McAuley E, Wynn D. (March 2010). Accelerometry in persons with multiple sclerosis: measurement of physical activity or walking mobility? J Neurol Sci, 290(1-2), 6-11.

OBJECTIVE: Motion sensors such as accelerometers have been recognized as an ideal measure of physical activity in persons with MS. This study examined the hypothesis that accelerometer movement counts represent a measure of both physical activity and walking mobility in individuals with MS. METHODS: The sample included 269 individuals with a definite diagnosis of relapsing-remitting MS who completed the Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire (GLTEQ), International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), Multiple Sclerosis Walking Scale-12 (MSWS-12), Patient Determined Disease Steps (PDDS), and then wore an ActiGraph accelerometer for 7days. The data were analyzed using bivariate correlation and confirmatory factor analysis. RESULTS: The results indicated that (a) the GLTEQ and IPAQ scores were strongly correlated and loaded significantly on a physical activity latent variable, (b) the MSWS-12 and PDDS scores strongly correlated and loaded significantly on a walking mobility latent variable, and (c) the accelerometer movement counts correlated similarly with the scores from the four self-report questionnaires and cross-loaded on both physical activity and walking mobility latent variables. CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that accelerometers are measuring both physical activity and walking mobility in persons with MS, whereas self-report instruments are measuring either physical activity or walking mobility in this population.

Whalen CK, Henker B, Ishikawa SS, Emmerson NA, Swindle R, Johnston JA. (Jan 2010). Atomoxetine versus stimulants in the community treatment of children with ADHD: An electronic diary study.  Journal of Attention Disorders, 13(4), 391-400.

Objective: To compare the morning and afternoon/evening functioning of children with ADHD treated in the community with either atomoxetine or long-acting stimulants and reported to be doing well. Method: 109 8- to 12-year-olds and their mothers participated in one of three groups: stimulants (STIM, N = 26), atomoxetine (ATMX, N = 25), or comparison (COMP, N = 58). Mothers completed morning and evening electronic diaries installed on personal digital assistants through-out an entire week, rating the child’s behaviors and moods as well as their own moods and perceptions. Results: There was no evidence that ongoing pharmacotherapy fully normalized the behaviors of children with ADHD: Mothers in both ADHD groups reported higher rates of child inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, oppositionality, and negative affect and lower levels of parenting efficacy and positive affect than did COMP mothers. Although the behavioral profiles were generally comparable for the STIM and ATMX groups, there were indications of better functioning in the ATMX group during mornings only. Conclusion: Children treated in the community with either STIM or ATMX appear to have similar behavioral profiles, suggesting that medication decisions be guided by other factors such as comorbid disorders, child and parent preferences, and effects on nontargeted behaviors and moods. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved) Subjects: Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity; CNS Stimulating Drugs; Community Services; Drug Therapy; Atomoxetine; Childhood (birth-12 yrs); School Age (6-12 yrs); Adulthood (18 yrs & older); Male; Female

Wilhelm FH, Grossman P. (Feb 2010). Emotions beyond the laboratory: Theoretical fundaments, study design, and analytic strategies for advanced ambulatory assessment.  Biological Psychology [Epub ahead of print].

Questionnaire and interview assessment can provide reliable data on attitudes and self-perceptions on emotion, and experimental laboratory assessment can examine functional relations between stimuli and reactions under controlled conditions. On the other hand, ambulatory assessment is less constrained and provides naturalistic data on emotion in daily life, with the potential to (1) assure external validity of laboratory findings, (2) provide normative data on prevalence, quality and intensity of real-life emotion and associated processes, (3) characterize previously unidentified emotional phenomena, and (4) model real-life stimuli for representative laboratory research design. Technological innovations now allow for detailed ambulatory study of emotion across domains of subjective experience, overt behavior and physiology. However, methodological challenges abound that may compromise attempts to characterize biobehavioral aspects of emotion in the real world. For example, emotional effects can be masked by social engagement, mental and physical workloads, as well as by food intake and circadian and quasi-random variation in metabolic activity. The complexity of data streams and multitude of factors that influence them require a high degree of context specification for meaningful data interpretation. We consider possible solutions to typical and often overlooked issues related to ambulatory emotion research, including aspects of study design decisions, recording devices and channels, electronic diary implementation, and data analysis.

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