Kristin Gainey


Kristin Gainey.

Kristin Gainey


Kristin Gainey


Research Interests

Depression and anxiety; emotion regulation; mindfulness and decentering; vulnerability/protective personality traits; structural models and assessment

Contact Information

216 Park Hall

Buffalo NY, 14260-4110

Phone: (716) 645-0240


  • PhD, University of Iowa

Current Research

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.

Selected Publications

  • Park, J., & Naragon-Gainey, K. (in press). Daily experiences of emotional clarity and their association with internalizing symptoms in naturalistic settings. Emotion.
  • McMahon, T. P., & Naragon-Gainey, K. (in press). The moderating effect of maladaptive emotion regulation strategies on reappraisal: A daily diary study. Cognitive Therapy and Research.
  • Naragon-Gainey, K. (in press). Distinguishing affective constructs: Structure, trait- vs. state-ness, and responses to affect. In R. Davidson, A. Shackman, A. Fox, & R. Lapate (Eds.), The Nature of Emotion, 2nd Edition. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Naragon-Gainey, K., & Watson, D. (2018). What lies beyond neuroticism? An examination of the unique contributions of social-cognitive vulnerabilities to internalizing disorders. Assessment, 25, 143-158.
  • Naragon-Gainey, K., & DeMarree, K. G. (2017). Decentering attenuates the associations of negative affect and positive affect with psychopathology. Clinical Psychological Science, 5,1027-1047.
  • Naragon-Gainey, K., McMahon, T. P, & Chacko, T. P. (2017). The structure of common emotion regulation strategies: A meta-analytic examination. Psychological Bulletin, 143, 384-427.
  • Naragon-Gainey, K., & Simms, L. J. (2017). Clarifying the links of conscientiousness with internalizing and externalizing psychopathology. Journal of Personality, 85, 880-892.
  • Naragon-Gainey, K., & DeMarree, K. G. (2017). Structure and validity of measures of decentering and defusion. Psychological Assessment, 29, 935-954.
  • Naragon-Gainey, K., & Simms, L. J. (2017). Three-way interaction of neuroticism, extraversion and conscientiousness in the internalizing disorders: Evidence of disorder specificity in a psychiatric sample. Journal of Research in Personality, 70, 16-26.
  • Naragon-Gainey, K., Prevoneau, J. M., Brown, T. A., & Zinbarg, R. E. (2016). A comparison and integration of structural models of depression and anxiety in a clinical sample: Support for and validation of the tri-level model. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 125, 853-867.​
  • Naragon-Gainey, K., & Watson, D. (2014). Consensually-defined facets of personality as prospective predictors of change in depression symptoms. Assessment, 21, 387-403.
  • Watson, D., & Naragon-Gainey, K. (2014). Personality, emotions, and the emotional disorders. Clinical Psychological Science, 2, 422-442.
  • Naragon-Gainey, K., Gallagher, M. W., & Brown, T. A. (2013). Stable “trait” variance of temperament as a predictor of the temporal course of depression and social phobia. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 122, 611-623.
  • Naragon-Gainey, K. (2010). Meta-analysis of the relations of anxiety sensitivity to the depressive and anxiety disorders. Psychological Bulletin, 136, 128-150.
  • Naragon-Gainey, K., Watson, D., & Markon, K. E. (2009). Differential relations of depression and social anxiety symptoms to the facets of extraversion/positive emotionality. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 118, 299-310.