January 2017 Recent Literature

The recent experience sampling and ecological momentary assessment research from January is here! Read below to see all that January had to offer.

Adolescent Studies

Altered Positive Affect in Clinically Anxious Youth: the Role of Social Context and Anxiety Subtype.

This study utilized EMA to investigate whether or not clinically anxious youth experience altered positive affect. They found that both socially anxious youth and other anxious youth experienced greater variability in positive affect than healthy youth, which suggests that they may be more sensitive to positive events.

Ecological Momentary Assessment of Affective and Interpersonal Instability in Adolescent Non-Suicidal Self-Injury.

This EMA study analyzed affective and interpersonal instability in adolescents that were engaging in non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). After responding to questions concerning affect and closeness to mother and best friend for two consecutive weekends, the researchers found that adolescents with NSSI had greater affective and interpersonal instability.

Feasibility and Adherence Paradigm to Ecological Momentary Assessments in Urban Minority Youth.

This study analyzed feasibility and adherence to EMA studies for 126 youth. The participants carried a mobile phone with them for 10 days and responded to prompts about activities, moods, and attitudes. The mean level of momentary adherence was 81% and the mean level of daily assessment adherence was 93.8%. Adherence was found to be lower on days when participants had higher negative affect and/or engaged in more physical activity.

Experience Sampling of Positive Affect in Adolescents with Autism: Feasibility and Preliminary Findings.

This study analyzed the feasibility of ESM via smartphones for monitoring positive affect and behavior in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. They found that adherence was great with completion rates of 85%, compared to 93% in controls. This suggests that experience sampling for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder is feasible.

Alcohol & Drugs

Alcohol Craving and Consumption in Borderline Personality Disorder: When, Where, and with Whom.

In this EMA study, alcohol consumption and craving in individuals with borderline personality disorder was compared to a group of community drinkers. After 21 days of monitoring, they found that individuals with BPD reported more craving than community drinkers, specifically when at work and home and when with coworkers, children, and romantic partners.

Association of environmental indicators with teen alcohol use and problem behavior: Teens’ observations vs. objectively-measured indicators.

This EMA study monitored 170 teens aged 14-16 for one month as the researchers studied the relationship between environmental indicators and teen alcohol use/problem behavior. They found that observed and objective disorganization as well as objective indicators of alcohol outlets were all related to alcohol use.

General Psychological Topics

Age differences in negative emotional responses to daily stressors depend on time since event.

In this EMA study, researchers investigated how the timing of daily stressors is related to age differences in negative emotional responses. They did this by assessing 199 participants, five times a day for 14 days using mobile surveys. They found that age differences were pertinent when anywhere from 10 minutes to 2.5 hours had passed since stressor exposure; older aged individuals experienced a smaller increase in negative affect. There was no age difference present regarding changes in negative affect when the time period was lengthened to 2.5 to 5 hours.

Using a Smartphone-Based Ecological Momentary Assessment Protocol With Community Dwelling Older African Americans.

In this feasibility study, the usefulness of a smartphone-based EMA for an older, African American demographic was assessed. The 97 participants provided data about their daily activities and stress four times a day for seven consecutive days. The researchers found that this approach is feasible for older African Americans; completion rates ranged from 92-98%.

Analyzing Dyadic Data Using Grid-Sequence Analysis: Interdyad Differences in Intradyad Dynamics.

In this experience sampling study, 108 older couples were monitored for 7 days. By applying state space grid methods and sequence analysis methods, they found that there were four groups of dyads that organized their moment-to-moment happiness in different ways. There was some evidence that differences in the amount of time spent with partner and in subjective health were related to the different organizations.

Passage of time judgments in everyday life are not related to duration judgments except for long durations of several minutes.

This experience sampling study alerted participants several times per day and asked them to estimate time durations between 3 and 33 seconds, and between 2 and 8 minutes. Their affective states, difficulty of current activity, and experience of passage of time were also assessed. They found that affective states and focus of attention on current activity predicted differences in the passage-of-time judgments, which were also related to long duration judgments.

Mood, motives, and money: An examination of factors that differentiate online and non-online young adult gamblers.

This daily diary study monitored young adult regular gamblers for 30 days. They found many differences between online and non-online gambling, including that online gamblers more often gambled to make money, discontinued gambling because of boredom, spent more time gambling, and earned more money gambling.

A Person-by-Situation Account of Why Some People More Frequently Engage in Upward Appearance Comparison Behaviors in Everyday Life.

This EMA study analyzed 161 women for 7 days and recorded their mood and comparison behaviors. They found that upward comparisons occurred more often for women with state negative body image or heightened trait, although neither state nor trait were related to other forms of comparison.

The reciprocity of prosocial behavior and positive affect in daily life.

This ESM study examined prosocial behavior, positive affect, and personality traits in 322 participants. They found that positive affect and prosocial behavior were positively related and seem to reinforce each other in daily life.

Medical Topics

Neck flexor muscle strength and its relation with functional performance in Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

This ambulatory assessment analyzed how neck flexor muscle strength impacts functional performance, specifically in children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. They found that there was a positive, moderate relationship between neck flexor muscle strength and a 6 Minute Walk Distance test. Maintaining neck flexor muscle strength is thought to support functional, daily activities in children with DMD.

Feasibility and Acceptability of Ecological Momentary Assessment of Daily Functioning Among Older Adults with HIV.

This feasibility study utilized smartphone-based EMA to follow 21 older HIV positive adults five times a day for one week. They found high adherence rates (86.4%) and positive experience ratings of the process. This study suggests that EMA via smartphones would be feasible and acceptable for studying older adults with HIV.

Influence of stress systems and physical activity on different dimensions of fatigue in female fibromyalgia patients.

In this ambulatory assessment study, 26 female participants recorded their general, mental, and physical fatigue levels 6 times a day for 14 days. Additionally, salivary cortisol, alpha-amylase, and physical activity were monitored. They found that lower cortisol after awakening predicted higher general and physical fatigue levels. Physical activity also predicted next-day general fatigue.

Are intensive data collection methods in pain research feasible in those with physical disability? A study in persons with chronic pain and spinal cord injury.

This EMA and daily diary feasibility study followed 131 adults with spinal cord injury for 7 days. They found that intensive pain data collection was feasible for these individuals with no evidence that it impacted pain intensity or interference ratings.

Physical Activity

Associations of Affective Responses During Free-Living Physical Activity and Future Physical Activity Levels: an Ecological Momentary Assessment Study.

In this EMA study, current activities and affective states were analyzed in 82 adults for 4 days, again for 7 days after 6 months, and again for another 7 days after 12 months. They found that more energetic and less negative feelings during physical activity were correlated with more future physical activity. This suggests that behavior may be reinforced by positive emotional benefits.

An exploratory study on the impact of daily activities on the pleasure and physical activity of older adults.

In this experience sampling study, participants responded to questions about current activity, location, and companion and experience of pleasure during activities for 30 consecutive days; additionally, they also wore a hip-worn accelerometer. They found that outdoor activities had higher physical activity than indoor activities, while leisure activities, being outdoors, and not being alone predicted pleasure in daily life.

Physiological Sensors

Usefulness of continuous actigraph monitoring in the assessment of the effect of corticosteroid treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy: a case report.

This ambulatory assessment used an actigraph to study how a corticosteroid treatment affected the daily activity of a patient with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. They found that the wrist actigraph data correlated to conventional motor-function tests and the wrist actigraph collected the data easily and noninvasively. Additionally, results improved after administering the corticosteroid.

Ambulatory Assessment of Instantaneous Velocity during Walking Using Inertial Sensor Measurements.
In this ambulatory assessment study, researchers attempted to estimate the instantaneous velocity of the pelvis while walking. A sensor near the pelvis and around the leg were used to produce Inertial Measurement Units, which they used to mathematically capture gait cycles.


Trauma and Autonomic Dysregulation: Episodic – Versus Systemic – Negative Affect Underlying Cardiovascular Risk in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

In this EMA study, 93 young adults with PTSD reported negative affect for one day while heart rate and reduced heart-rate variability data was also collected. They found that the severity of PTSD symptoms was positively related to negative affect autonomic arousal, suggesting that negative affect autonomic arousal is a primary factor and potential point of intervention for cardiovascular risk in PTSD patients.

Smartphone-based ecological momentary assessment for Chinese patients with depression: An exploratory study in Taiwan.

This EMA study analyzed the feasibility of mobile based EMA for Chinese patients with depression. Fifty-nine patients were monitored for 8 weeks with a low level of engagement, but the researchers found some evidence for the feasibility of smartphone-based EMA in that demographic.

Activation in Bipolar Disorders: A Systematic Review.

In this systematic review, various ecological momentary assessment and experience sampling studies were compiled along with other previous studies. They found that the criterion of elevation of activation as a symptom for bipolar disorder in DSM-5 was broadly supported. Additionally, they suggest more thorough studies regarding the importance of activation in bipolar disorders.

The role of day-to-day emotions, sleep, and social interactions in pediatric anxiety treatment.

This study used EMA to explore whether day-to-day functions, clinical measures, or demographic measures were the best predictors of treatment outcome for children subjected to supportive child-centered therapy (CCT) or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). They found that high positive affect with one’s mother and fewer sleep problems were the strongest predictors.

Dealing with Daily Challenges in Dementia (Deal-id Study): An Experience Sampling Study to Assess Caregivers’ Sense of Competence and Experienced Positive Affect in Daily Life.

This study applied experience sampling methodology to 30 Dutch caregivers of people with dementia. They found that there was a positive relationship between sense of competence and experienced level of positive affect. Additionally, a higher daily sense of competence predicted a less volatile positive affect pattern.

Anticipatory and consummatory pleasure and displeasure in major depressive disorder: An experience sampling study.

In this experience sampling study, adults with major depressive disorder reported anticipatory and consummatory pleasure/displeasure for one week, eight times a day. Individuals answered questions about activities that they most and least looked forward to. They found that individuals with MDD reported elevated levels of both types of displeasure, but blunted levels of both types of pleasure. Additionally, displeasure was overestimated among healthy controls and MDD participants.

Predicting Nonsuicidal Self-Injury in Borderline Personality Disorder Using Ecological Momentary Assessment.

This study used EMA to examine nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) in 51 individuals with borderline personality disorder for 7 days. They found that impulsive urges, daily urges to hurt oneself, and low levels of distress tolerance were predictors of NSSI, not negative affect or aggressive urges.

Moderated online social therapy for carers of young people recovering from first-episode psychosis: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial.

This future EMA study will study carers of young people recovering from first-episode psychosis. They plan to analyze 160 carers’ stress, depressive symptoms, worry, substance use, loneliness, social support, and satisfaction with life after 6 months of caring.

Beliefs about the causes of depression and recovery and their impact on adherence, dosage, and successful tapering of antidepressants.

In this experience sampling study, beliefs about the causes of depression and recovery were examined in 289 remitted depression patients, in addition to whether or not those beliefs predicted antidepressant medication use. They found that stressful life events were seen as the cause of depression, but causal beliefs did not predict antidepressant medication use.

Smoking Cessation

Association between smoking-related attentional bias and craving measured in the clinic and in the natural environment.

This EMA study examined attentional bias and craving in smokers. They found that there was a positive relationship between seeing a smoking cue and an increase in craving. There was also a positive relationship between increased attention toward smoking and an increase in craving.

Development of a Just-in-Time Adaptive Intervention for Smoking Cessation Among Korean American Emerging Adults.

In this EMA study, researchers applied just-in-time adaptive interventions (JITAIs) to Korean American emerging adult smokers. They found that smoking episodes are context driven and the participants felt they needed specialized cessation techniques appropriate for different contexts.


Hierarchical Linear Modeling for Analysis of Ecological Momentary Assessment Data in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Research.

This paper explained the process of analyzing EMA data with hierarchical linear modeling analyses. They used examples from physical medicine and rehabilitation literature to introduce the process.


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