Individual Talks 6

  • 2:00 pm To 3:30 pm on July 20, 2019
  • Gallery Room 2 Bramber House

Attachment avoidance and restrained eating in healthy young adults

It has been established that attachment anxiety plays a causal role in disinhibited eating in young adults but much less is known about the role of attachment avoidance in eating behaviour. Recent correlational data, however, suggest that attachment avoidance may play an important role in restricted eating via emotional cut-off. Across 3 experimental studies we examined the causal role of attachment avoidance in reducing incidental eating in a healthy population of young adults. Participants were primed with attachment avoidance, attachment anxiety, attachment security or a control prime and exposed to an incidental eating paradigm. Those participants primed with avoidance ate significantly less compared to participants in the other prime conditions. Our studies also examined potential mediators/moderators of these effects. We further explored the significance of our findings for the aberrant eating literature.

Individual and dyadic associations among self-expansion, affect, and health

High-quality romantic relationships are beneficial for health. We tested whether self-expansion, like other markers of relationship quality, was indirectly associated with physical health via positive and negative affect (PA/NA). Study 1 (N=388 individuals) found that greater self-expansion was linked to lower physical illness, and this link was explained by both greater PA and lower NA. Study 2 (N=144 couples) found actor and partner self-expansion predicted greater actor PA (but not NA), which, in turn, was linked to lower actor physical illness. In both studies, results remained robust when accounting for age, gender, BMI, agreeableness, neuroticism, and perceived partner responsiveness.

Utilizing information theoretic to cluster couples’ dyadic stress

Romantic dyads are evolving systems, each carrying a unique configuration of temporally based behaviors and affect. Stress on and within the system undoubtedly modifies the dyadic structure. Despite the prevalence of stress research in the field of psychology, to date, there has been little research tying stress to observable structural features in conversing dyads. Using time-series data from 42 heterosexual couples’ momentary experiences of stress, this talk will present results that show if differing stress levels generate unique signatures. Utilizing Information Theoretic metrics, this talk will present results that derive clusters that reflect how stress might modify dyadic interaction.

Why Behavioral Observation Is A Treat to Couple Research – And How The Sparse Data Problem Can Be Solved

Inferences about couple interactions are typically based on behavioral observation data. But codeable incidents are rare – and, as a consequence, codeable incidents are summed up across entire interactions. However, this removes the sequential nature of the interaction, undermining the field’s ability to study this fundamental phenomenon. We demonstrate how spares coded behavior is in a sample of 189 couples - and how engineering technology can be used to extract behavioral data in high temporal resolutions to overcome this problem. Results show that couples influence each other in 95% of all talk turns and even change the way they influence each other during the curse of a single interaction.