Papers, Presentations, Theses and Dissertations

Marital Relationships

Bryn Mawr College students appear in bold

Waldinger, R.J. & Schulz, M.S. (2008, July).  Heart rate variability, emotion regulation, and intimate partner violence.  In M.S. Schulz (Chair), Innovative methods for studying the influence of emotions on couple relationships.  Symposium conducted at the meeting of the  International Association for Relationship Research, Providence, RI.

Weiss, E., Waldinger, R.J., & Schulz, M.S. (2008, July).  The influence of emotional arousal on interpersonal sensitivity:  Modeling within-partner covariation across time.  In M.S. Schulz (Chair), Innovative methods for studying the influence of emotions on couple relationships.  Symposium conducted at the meeting of the International Association for Relationship Research, Providence, RI.

Schulz, M.S. & Waldinger, R.J. (2007, November). Reading Others’ Emotions: Using Intuitive Judgments from Naive Coders to Predict Relationship Satisfaction and Stability. Presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy, Philadelphia, PA.

Waldinger, R.J. & Schulz, M.S. (2007, October). What’s Love Got To Do With It?: Relationship satisfaction, social connections, health stressors, and daily mood in married octogenarians.  Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for the Study of Human Development, State College, PA.

Winkles, J.K., Whitton, S.W., Waldinger, R.J., Schulz, M.S., & Hauser, S.T. (2007, March).  Associations of attachment styles with expression of broad and specific emotions during couple conflicts.   Poster presented at the biennial meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Boston, MA.

Stein, J., Schulz, M., & Waldinger, R.J. (November, 2006).  Connecting heart and mind: Links among beliefs about the consequences of emotion, interpersonal intentions, and affective expression in marital interactions.  Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy, Chicago, IL.

Schulz, M. (November, 2006).  Promoting healthy beginnings:  A randomized controlled trial of a preventive intervention to preserve marital quality during the transition to parenthood.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy, Chicago, IL.

Schulz, M. & Waldinger, R.J. (2006, July). Linking Hearts and Minds in Couple Interactions Via Video Recall: Intentions, Attributions and Overriding Sentiments.  Paper presented at the biennial conference of the International Association for Relationship Research, Rethymnon, Crete, Greece.

Waldinger, R.J., Kuo, S., Schulz, M., & Vaillant, G. (2006, July). Grumpy Old Men?: Social Integration as a Moderator of Links Between Daily Stressors And Well-Being In Octogenarian Men And Their Partners.   Paper presented at the biennial conference of the International Association for Relationship Research, Rethymnon, Crete, Greece.

Schulz, M. (2005, October). Emotion Regulation and Couple Interactions:   Integrating Cognitive-Mediational and Family Research Perspectives.  Invited paper presented at Advances in Theory and Research on Family Development and Family-Based Prevention and Policy, Berkeley, CA.

Kristina, S. M., Harter, K.S.M., Waldinger, R.J., & Schulz, M.S. (2005, January).  The Relation of Shame to Anger in Intimate Adult Relationships.  Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association, New York, NY.

Schulz, M.S., Waldinger, R.J., Chivers, L., & Zimmerman, V. (2003, November).  Assessing Cognitions and Emotions in Couple Interactions: Methods and Links to Marital Quality.  Paper presented at the annual meetings of the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy, Boston, MA.

Waldinger, R.J., Schulz, M.S., Moore, C., & Weiss, E. (2003, November).  The Active Ingredients of Empathic Behavior and Perceptions in Couple Interactions. Paper presented at the annual meetings of the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy, Boston, MA.

Waldinger, R.J., Moore, C., & Schulz, M.S. (2003, April). Childhood sexual abuse and the experience of adult intimacy: Links with attachment styles and self-reports of emotion during video recall of couple interactions.   Paper presented at the biennial meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Tampa, FL.

Waldinger, R.J., Schulz, M.S., & Moore, C. (2002, October). Looking in the mirror:  Participants as observers of their own and their partners’ emotions in couple interactions.  Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Conference: Couples Under Stress, Boston, MA.

Waldinger, R.J., Moore, C., Chivers, L., Heaney, A., & Schulz, M.S. (2001, December). “Mountains out of molehills?: How borderline individuals read their partners’ emotions.” Invited poster presentation at the annual meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association, New York, NY.

Schulz, M.S. & Cowan, C.P.  (2001, April).  Promoting healthy beginnings:  Marital quality during the transition to parenthood.   A poster presented at the biennial meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Minneapolis, MN.

Heaney, A., Waldinger, R.J., Schulz, M.S., & Moore, C. (2000, November).  You just don’t understand: Child abuse and empathic accuracy in adult couples.  A poster presented at the annual meetings of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, San Antonio TX.

Stein, J. & Schulz, M.S. (2000, August).  Assessing beliefs about emotional expression within marriage.  Poster presented at the annual meetings of the American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

Waldinger, R.J. & Schulz, M.S. (2000, June).  When abuse survivors marry: Emotion regulation in intimate relationships.  A paper presented at the 7th International Family Violence Research Conference, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH.

Moore, C., Heaney, A. Waldinger, R.J., & Schulz, M.S. (2000, July).  Empathic accuracy in child sexual abuse survivors.  A poster presented at the 7th International Family Violence Research Conference, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH.

Stein, J. & Schulz, M.S. (1999, June).  Beliefs about emotional expression within marriage.  Poster presented at the meetings of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association, King of Prussia, PA. 

Emotion Regulation

Bryn Mawr College students appear in bold.

Kim, H., Schulz, M.S., & Compton, R. (2007, November).  Relationships among Mindfulness, Rumination and EEG Asymmetries.  Presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy, Philadelphia, PA.

Grundy, K.M., Schulz, M.S., Zimmerman, V.D., & Miller, M. (2007, November). Exploring Cognitive Consequences of Expressive Emotion Suppression: The Relationship between Mindfulness and Memory.  Presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy, Philadelphia, PA.

Hamilton, D., Schulz, M.S., & Hills, T. (2007, March). The Power of Positive Thinking: Do Positive Emotions Broaden the Cognitive Repertoire of Preschoolers.  Poster presented at the biennial meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Boston, MA.

Stein, J., Schulz, M., & Waldinger, R.J. (2006, November).  Connecting heart and mind: Links among beliefs about the consequences of emotion, interpersonal intentions, and affective expression in marital interactions.  Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy, Chicago, IL.

Schulz, M. (2005, October). Emotion Regulation and Couple Interactions:   Integrating Cognitive-Mediational and Family Research Perspectives.  Invited paper presented at Advances in Theory and Research on Family Development and Family-Based Prevention and Policy, Berkeley, CA.

Paris, A., Frantz, J., Heindel, S., & Schulz, M.S. (2005, April).  Multimethod approaches to studying the effects of interparental conflict history on sensitivity to future relationship conflict. Poster presented at the biennial meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Atlanta, GA.

Zimmerman, V.D.Schulz, M.S., & Waldinger, R.J. (2003, November).  The Measurement and Consequences of Emotion Suppression in Marital Interactions: Does Hiding Your Emotions Require Physiological Work? Poster presented at the annual meetings of the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy, Boston, MA.

Frantz, J., Heindel, S., & Schulz, M.S. (2003, April).  More than meets the eye: Effects of interparental conflict history on encoding and reacting to future relationship conflict. Paper presented at the biennial meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Tampa, FL.

Stein, J. & Schulz, M.S. (2000, August).  Assessing beliefs about emotional expression within marriage.  Poster presented at the annual meetings of the American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

Stein, J. & Schulz, M.S. (1999, June).  Beliefs about emotional expression within marriage.  Poster presented at the meetings of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association, King of Prussia, PA. 

Work and Family

Bryn Mawr College students appear in bold.

Bennett, A.E. & Schulz, M.S. (2005, April).  Assessing work-family conflict on a daily basis:  Links to parenting. Poster presented at the biennial meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Atlanta, GA.

Bennett, A. & Schulz, M.S.  (2001, April).  Parenting stress, daily parenting experience and working parents' psychological investment in family.  A poster presented at the biennial meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Minneapolis, MN.

Bennett, A., & Schulz, M.S. (1999, June).  Linking psychological investment in work and family roles, parenting stress, and quality of parent-child interactions among working parents with young children.  Poster presented at the meetings of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association, King of Prussia, PA. 

Dissertations

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Emily Malcoun (2008):  Unpacking mindfulness: Psychological processes underlying the health benefits of a mindfulness-based stress reduction program

Emily Weiss (2008). Dyslexic Hearts: Links between Couples’ Interpersonal Sensitivity, Emotional Arousal, Situational Intentions and Emotional Expression

Ginny Zimmerman (2007):  The Physiological Consequences of the Emotional Suppression of Anger: Investigation in both Non-social and Interpersonal Contexts

Julia Stein (2006).  Believe in your heart?  Interconnections among partners’ beliefs about the consequences of sharing feelings in marriage and their intentions and expressiveness in marital conflicts.

Deanna Hamilton (2005).  The Power of Positive Thinking:  Do Positive Emotions Broaden the Cognitive Repertoire of Preschoolers?

Timothy Edge (2005).  Links between daily work experience and family life for firefighters:  The role of attachment style. 

Bhavna Shyamalan (2005). The cultural construction of emotional experience:  The influence of cultural values in Presbyterian and Hindu samples.

Alexis Bennett (2004). Work and family role conflict:  The daily experiences of working parents.

Staci Heindel (2003).  The effects of parental marital conflict on perceptions of conflict and emotion.

Cheryl Stayton (2002). Normative compulsive behavior in children ages 6 to 11.

Dissertation Abstracts


Emily Malcoun (2008):  Unpacking mindfulness: Psychological processes underlying the health benefits of a mindfulness-based stress reduction program

            This study examined the efficacy and processes at work in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program (MBSR) in a heterogeneous adult population (N = 71). Changes in mindfulness, psychological symptoms and physical health were examined, along with their relationship to course compliance variables and group support, and the meditational roles of mindfulness acquisition and mindfulness practice. The influence of gender, diagnostic factors and meditation experience on changes in mindfulness and health were also investigated, along with interactions between some of these variables and mindfulness acquisition on health improvements. Participants showed very strong overall positive effects on mindfulness and psychological symptoms and small positive effects in bodily pain and perceptions of general health, but did not improve in physical functioning, role limitations due to physical health or in overall physical health. Improvements in bodily pain and general health were linked to mindfulness acquisition, but there was no evidence that changes in psychological or physical health were mediated by mindfulness acquisition or practice. Gender, meditation experience, and health condition type did not influence changes in mindfulness or health, but meditation experience interacted with improvements in nonreactivity influence improvements in psychological symptoms. Results are consistent with previous findings of a robust, positive effect of MBSR on mindfulness and psychological symptoms, and show mixed support for findings supporting its immediate effects on physical health (Baer, 2003; Grossman et al., 2004). Results suggest that improvements in bodily pain and general health may be linked to mindfulness acquisition and that different factors may be influencing the beneficial effects of this intervention depending on the population. More future research into the “active ingredients” of MBSR and factors influencing its salutogenic effects in different populations is needed to improve insight into the psychological mechanisms underlying the health benefits of this intervention.

Keywords: MBSR, mindfulness, meditation, mechanisms, mediation, health

Emily Weiss (2008). Dyslexic Hearts: Links between Couples’ Interpersonal Sensitivity, Emotional Arousal, Situational Intentions and Emotional Expression

            This study examined whether changes in momentary emotions, intentions, and expressions of partners’ emotions were linked to changes in spouses’ ability to accurately rate a partner’s emotions. Using a video recall procedure, participants (N = 156 couples in committed relationships) reported on their own emotions, intentions and their perceptions of partners’ emotions during moments of high affect in laboratory-based discussions of upsetting events. The ability to accurately rate a partner’s emotions, which we labeled interpersonal sensitivity (IPS), was found to vary significantly within and across individuals using hierarchical linear modeling techniques. Overall, results demonstrated that fluctuations in the valence (whether it is positive or negative) of the emotional arousal of the sender and the perceiver are linked in meaningful ways with changes in IPS over the interaction. Momentary changes in intentions to facilitate conversation and to control emotional arousal covaried significantly with IPS as well. Additionally, qualities of the relationship, such as how satisfied partners are, influenced the degree to which changes in IPS were linked to changes in affective states and intentions.

Ginny Zimmerman (2007):  The Physiological Consequences of the Emotional Suppression of Anger: Investigation in both Non-social and Interpersonal Contexts

            Previous research has found that suppression of various emotions is linked with heightened physiological reactivity in the short-term. This study investigated the short-term emotional and physiological effects of the emotional suppression of anger. Ninety undergraduate females were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions (control, suppression, enhance) and completed two experimental tasks designed to elicit anger. The first task utilized a method used previously in the emotional suppression literature and required participants to view emotionally arousing films. One of these film clips was intended to provoke anger by disregarding basic moral values while the other film clip aroused anger based on an interpersonal betrayal. The second novel experimental task employed an interpersonal context in which the participant is betrayed by a trusted other, arousing anger. Physiological data was collected during the tasks (skin conductance levels, heart rate, blood pressure), allowing for investigation of the impact of emotional suppression on participant’s physiological responses. Examination of the effectiveness of the experimental tasks in eliciting anger and any potential impacts of emotional suppression on emotional experience were assessed with participant ratings of emotional experience during the tasks. Results showed that the experimental tasks were effective in eliciting anger from participants and emotional suppression did not affect emotional experience. There was some evidence that emotional suppression is linked with increased skin conductance levels; however, this finding was not as robust as in previous research. The current experiment provides supporting evidence for a novel methodology to arouse anger in the laboratory and the potential benefits of elicitation of emotion in an interpersonal context. A rationale for future utilization of comparison groups with similar emotional regulatory demands is described. Further, implications and potential explanations for the more limited findings for short-term physiological consequences of emotional suppression are presented.

Julia Stein (2006).  Believe in your heart?  Interconnections among partners’ beliefs about the consequences of sharing feelings in marriage and their intentions and expressiveness in marital conflicts.

Staci Heindel (2003).  The effects of parental marital conflict on perceptions of conflict and emotion.

            In marital conflict research, sensitization, the idea that individuals exposed to frequent, intense, and unresolved interparental conflict (IPC) evidence greater emotional and behavioral reactivity when exposed to subsequent conflictual situations, is often invoked as a partial explanation of why IPC is linked to negative psychosocial outcomes (e.g., Cummings & Davies, 1994; Grych & Fincham, 1990).  While sensitization has been supported empirically, conceptual and methodological limitations that may affect our understanding of the links between IPC and negative outcomes have been overlooked.  The present studies address conceptual limitations by integrating current Social Information Processing (SIP) perspectives (Dodge, 1986; 1991) and marital conflict theory to determine where in the SIP stages effects from interparental conflict occur, and in particular, if effects are evident at the encoding stage, before the reaction stage.  The present studies address methodological limitations via use of a modified analogue design procedure and a semi-structured interview. 
            In Study One, 153 college-age (M = 20) participants, predominately Caucasian and female, completed two established IPC measures, the Children’s Perceptions of Interparental Conflict Scale (CPIC) and Security in the Interparental Subsystem Scale (SIS).  These questionnaires provided measures of Conflict Properties (i.e., the intensity, frequency, and resolution of participants IPC exposure) and Threat (i.e., extent to which participants felt threatened by their IPC exposure).  Participants also completed the Family Expressiveness Questionnaire (FEQ) and the impulse strength scale of the Berkeley Expressivity Questionnaire (BEQ); variables generated from these measures were examined as potential covariates.  Participants watched three videotaped marital conflicts and rated the strength of emotions expressed by individual members of each couple, using 14 emotion descriptors that factored into two scales assessing negative (i.e., Hostility and Distress) and positive (i.e., Empathy and Affection) emotional expression.  Participants also rated the intensity of their own emotional reactions (i.e., physically tense, upset, and anxious) while watching the videotaped conflicts. In Study Two, the aforementioned procedures were replicated with a new sample – 36 college age (M = 19), primarily Caucasian females.  In addition, these 36 participants were interviewed using The History of Family Resolutions Styles Interview, a semi-structured interview modeled after the format of the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) and developed for this study.  The validity, sensitivity, and predictive power of this interview were also explored.
            With regard to where in the SIP stages effects from interparental conflict occur, correlational and regression analyses from Studies One and Two indicate that sensitization effects are not operative at the SIP encoding stage.  Study One correlational and regression analyses suggest the presence of sensitization effects at or before the SIP reaction stage; these findings were not replicated in Study Two, most likely due to the lack of statistical power afforded by the smaller sample size.  With regard to the interview, Study Two results indicate adequate validity for our newly developed interview.  The interview was also found to be more sensitive in assessing conflict properties variables and less sensitive in measuring emotional arousal related to conflict exposure, as compared with questionnaire measures. The interview did not evidence predictive power above and beyond questionnaire items assessing similar topics or covariates. 
            Discussion focuses on the ramifications of these findings for future research on IPC effects, the speculation that sensitization effects are first present at the SIP interpretation stage, and future goals, which include the development of an inferential coding system for the interview and the analysis of participant’s physiology while watching the conflict vignettes and while being interviewed.

Masters Theses

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Amy Paris Masters Thesis:  Multimethod Approaches to Studying the Effects of Interparental Conflict History: The History of Family Resolution Styles Interview (2005)

Jeanne Frantz Masters Thesis: Effects of Interparental Conflict History on Encoding and Reacting to Future Relationship Conflict (2005).

Heejin Kim Masters Thesis: The Relationship among Mindfulness, Rumination, and EEG Asymmetries (2006)

Joanna Scott (2008) Thesis: The How, What, and Why of Mindfulness: Motivation for Observing and Emotional Well-being

Sarah Scheckter (2008) Thesis:  It Has Made Me Who I Am: Regrets, Retrospective Narratives, and Functioning in Midlife    

Emily Weiss (2004). Masters Thesis:  Conceptualizing empathy in couples’ conflict discussions:Comparing models of perceived empathy and empathic accuracy (2004)

Masters Theses Abstracts


Jeanne Frantz (2005). Effects of Interparental Conflict History on Encoding and Reacting to Future Relationship Conflict

This study draws on cognitive mediational theories of emotion to explore component processes of the social information processing system that may be used to encode, interpret, and respond to interparental conflict (IPC). We presented 163 late adolescents with realistic, novel marital conflict vignettes and separately recorded their IPC histories, their encoding of emotions expressed in the marital conflict vignettes, and their emotional reactions to the marital conflict. Participants’ IPC histories were not related to their encoding of emotions expressed in the vignettes; however, participants’ IPC histories were related to their emotional reactions to the vignettes. Participants’ emotional reactions to the novel marital conflict were more strongly related to their past experiences of feeling threatened by IPC than to the IPC conflict properties (combined frequency, intensity, and resolution of IPC). Theoretical implications are addressed, including a discussion of the current conceptualization of sensitization and a discussion of the need for future research examining the role of coping strategies, particularly avoidance, in sensitization/habituation phenomena.

Sarah Scheckter (2008) Thesis:  It Has Made Me Who I Am: Regrets, Retrospective Narratives, and Functioning in Midlife    

            This study unites research on the midlife transition, life review narratives, and regrets, using a semi-structured interview about work and work/life balance and a novel coding scheme to explore regret frequency, nature, and correlates in a sample of 24 men and women in midlife (ages 42-44). Comparisons are made among regret qualities, narrative style, demographic information and measures of satisfaction and well-being. I found that expressing regrets was normative in this sample, regardless of gender, and was related to lower levels of depressive symptoms. Coming to terms with a main regret was related to fewer regrets overall and to having a more open or exploratory narrative style. Implications for indirect regret inquiry and coding retrospective narratives are discussed.

Joanna Scott (2008) Thesis: The How, What, and Why of Mindfulness: Motivation for Observing and Emotional Well-being

            This study examined the role of motivation underlying why a person observes and relates to their experiences by designing a new self-report measure, the Motivation for Observing Experiences Questionnaire (MOX-Q). Undergraduate students (N=99) were recruited to fill out a battery of questionnaires to explore how differences in motivation relate to facets of mindfulness and to measures of anxious, depressive, and obsessive symptomatology. A subset of participants (N=37) also completed a 12-day daily diary phase to assess relationships with daily mood and coping. The results suggest that the MOX-Q is capturing meaningful differences between people who are motivated to observe by either mindful, avoidant, or vigilant motivations. Those observing for mindful reasons reported higher levels of mindfulness, less symptomatology, less negative affect, and more adaptive coping. Those motivated by avoidance showed the most difficulties, reporting being less mindful, elevated levels of symptomatology, more avoidant coping across days, and more negative mood states. The vigilant group displayed more obsessive tendencies, but looked similar to the other groups on other measures.

Emily Weiss (2004). Conceptualizing empathy in couples’ conflict discussions: Comparing models of perceived empathy and empathic accuracy

            This study examined links between conceptualizations of empathy in couple interactions and marital satisfaction.  Two broad models of empathy were operationalized to compare spouses’ sense of being understood by their partners’ to spouses’ ability to report what the partners’ are feeling in predicting marital satisfaction.  Three methods of measuring spouses’ empathic accuracy were examined to explore theoretically meaningful differences among the types of information generated by each model.  Furthermore, spouses’ ability to report partners’ hostile, vulnerable, and positive emotion scales was measured separately.  Results are discussed in light of Ickes and Simpson’s theory of motivated inaccuracy (2001).

 

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