Depression and anxiety; emotion regulation; mindfulness and decentering; vulnerability/protective personality traits; structural models and assessment
216 Park Hall
Buffalo NY, 14260-4110
Phone: (716) 645-0240
Affective processes play a central role in psychological well-being and psychopathology broadly, with particular relevance to the internalizing disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety). Through the lens of affect, my lab (UB Affective Science Lab) aims to further our understanding of numerous broad questions about these disorders. For example, how do affective experiences lead to or protect against psychopathology? What processes, circumstances, or traits moderate the impact of affect on psychopathology? Why do certain mood and anxiety disorders tend to co-occur within individuals (i.e., high rates of comorbidity); conversely, what leads individuals to develop a specific internalizing disorder but not others? How can we most accurately and effectively categorize and assess internalizing symptoms, and what features may be good candidates for targets in treatment?
My work to date has explored these issues in several ways. First, I examine the role of affective individual differences in the development and maintenance of mood and anxiety disorders. Second, I explore the impact of several different responses to extreme affect on psychological well-being, including emotion regulation and mindfulness-related processes. A current NIH-funded project examines the mechanisms underlying the benefits of decentering in daily life. Third, I develop and refine structural models of mood and anxiety disorders that stem from the personality-psychopathology tradition. Finally, I am interested in methodological/psychometric issues, such as mood-state distortion, measure construction, and latent variable modeling. My research uses multiple methods (e.g., clinical interview, ecological momentary assessment, eye-tracking, heart-rate variability), and the findings have implications both for basic/etiological models of psychopathology and for applied assessment and intervention contexts.