May 2017 Recent Literature

The recent experience sampling research from May is here! Keep checking this list as more articles are published.

  • Adolescent Studies
  • Alcohol & Drugs
  • Diet & Nutrition
  • Emotion & Regulation
  • General Psychological Topics
  • Medical Topics
  • Physical Activity
  • Physiological Sensors
  • Psychopathy
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Statistics/Methodology

Adolescent Studies

The social context moderates the relationship between neighborhood safety and adolescents’ activities.

This ESM study looks at the moderating effect of social context on the relationship between activities that youths choose (active versus sedentary) and perceived neighborhood safety. Results showed that for adolescents who spent a significant time with peers, perceived neighborhood safety was not a significant predictor of physical activity. In contrast, those with less social interaction tended to choose activities in accordance with perceived safety of their neighborhood. Altogether, having a richer social life may contribute to adolescents’ overall sense of safety, and thus, willingness to engage in active play.
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Longitudinal Associations Between Sedentary Behavior of Adolescent Girls, Their Mothers, and Best Friends.

This EMA study tracked the sedentary behavior of 122 girls and the behavior of their mothers and friends. Structural equation modeling was used to assess the associations between the sedentary behaviors of the girls, their mothers, and their friends. Overall, results showed that the three groups’ sedentary behaviors were positively correlated. Additionally, mothers’ behaviors were predictive of daughters’ behaviors at the one-year follow-up mark.

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Concurrent and Subsequent Associations Between Daily Digital Technology Use and High-Risk Adolescents’ Mental Health Symptoms.

In this EMA study examining 151 adolescents at risk for mental health problems, the relationship between digital technology use and poor mental health was examined.  Using multilevel regression models, results showed that time spent using digital technology was positively correlated with same-day ADHD and CD symptoms, as well as long-term self-regulation deficits and conduct problem symptoms.

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Mexican American Adolescents’ Emotional Support to the Family in Response to Parental Stress.

This daily diary study followed 421 Mexican American parent-adolescent dyads for one year to analyze the relationship between parental stress and adolescents’ emotional support. They found that adolescents were more likely to give support to other family members rather than their parents on days when parents experienced a family stressor.

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Sleeping Paranoia Away? An Actigraphy and Experience-Sampling Study with Adolescents.

In this experience sampling study, 61 adolescents wore an actigraph for 8 nights and rated their sleep, symptoms of paranoia, and potential mediating factors. Using multilevel regression models, they found that shorter sleep time and increased dreaming predicted paranoid symptoms.

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Alcohol & Drugs

An Ecological Momentary Intervention to Reduce Alcohol Consumption in Young Adults Delivered During Drinking Events: Protocol for a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

In this pilot EMA/EMI study, researchers incorporated both assessment and intervention methods into their 3-armed randomized controlled trial. Specifically, the study looked at the efficacy of intervention for reducing peak single-occasion drinking. Participants in the EMA/I groups received mobile surveys on their mobile phones on 6 different nights across a 12-week time span. The EMI group also received personalized feedback. Results of the study are still being analyzed, but preliminary analysis show a mean reduction in drinks consumed during participants’ last drinking events.

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Diet & Nutrition

Think fast: rapid assessment of the effects of episodic future thinking on delay discounting in overweight/obese participants.

This study tests the theory that episodic future thinking (or EFT) tactics can be successfully delivered through EMA mobile delivery to assist people in dietary decision making. EFT is believed to combat “delay discounting,” which occurs when people dismiss or devalue they delayed effects of their behaviors. In the case of this study, researchers were curious if more salient EFT could reduce the inhibitory processes of delay discounting in dieting for overweight patients. Results showed a positive trend in this direction.

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Appetitive conditioning to specific times of day.

This EMA study tests the theory that the acquisition and extinction of eating desires in daily life are brought on by classical conditioning. Two separate designs were carried out, and results showed that eating desires can be conditioned according to ecological cues in daily life. Additionally, if conditioning goes on long enough, eating desires can be learned.

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Emotion & Regulation

Positive and negative emotional eating have different associations with overeating and binge eating: Construction and validation of the Positive-Negative Emotional Eating Scale.

In this experience sampling study, researchers examined the role of positive emotion in eating disordered behaviors. The study constructed a scale for positive and negative emotional eating and assessed its validity. Results supported validity of the study’s scales. In addition, results from a second study implied that positive and negative emotions may have a different role in disordered eating than previously believed.

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Mental models accurately predict emotion transitions

This study used experience sampling to better understand the way people perceive and predict emotional states in others. Researchers hypothesized that current emotional state predicts future emotional state, and that individuals construct “models” for this interaction through which they can accurately make a prediction. 5 different studies were conducted, and results of all of these supported the hypothesis. Humans seem to have a model that allows them to predict emotional transition in others.

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Pathways to Happiness Are Multi-directional: Associations Between State Mindfulness and Everyday Affective Experience.

In this experience sampling study, researchers examined the relationship between state mindfulness and everyday affect. 70 students self-reported state mindfulness and state affect over the course of the study. Multidimensional assessments showed that participants experienced more positive affect when they were attentive to the present moment, and less negative affect when they nonjudgmentally accepted their present experiences. Additionally, nonjudgmental acceptance was shown to have a buffering effect for daily hassles on affective state.

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General Psychological Topics

Communication and Connection During Deployment: A Daily-Diary Study From the Perspective of At-Home Partners

In this daily diary study, 87 partners of deployed national guard service members reported on their level of communication with their partner, and how connected they felt with their partner over a 7-day trial. Multilevel modeling results showed that partners who received more support from their service members showed higher levels of connection. Additionally, partners who reported making more decisions as a couple felt higher levels of connection.

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Autonomy Support for Conflictual and Stigmatized Identities: Effects on Ownership and Psychological Health.

In this experience sampling study, researchers tested the idea that conflictual or stigmatized aspects of the self (or identities) are harder to integrate into the self. Additionally, they examined whether having autonomy support for identity exploration and expression can aid in owning said conflictual identities. Results showed that having autonomy support not only predicts greater ownership of all identities, but greater overall psychological health.

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Engagement, Persistence, and Gender in Computer Science: Results of a Smartphone ESM Study.

In this experience sampling study, researchers examine the underrepresentation of women in the STEM field of computer science. Men and women at two separate universities participated in ESM to evaluate their engagement in different courses and environments. These assessments were paired with statistics from their respective universities concerning enrollment and persistence patterns among CS men and women. Overall, results showed that women were more likely to persist if they felt that they were being challenged and felt skilled in their courses.

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From Moment-to-Moment to Day-to-Day: Experience Sampling and Diary Investigations in Adults’ Everyday Creativity.
In this experience sampling study, adults’ everyday creativity was analyzed. They found that active positive emotions predicted the day-to-day variability of creative behavior.

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Medical Topics

Mobile Phone Ecological Momentary Assessment of Daily Stressors Among People Living With HIV: Elucidating Factors Underlying Health-Related Challenges in Daily Routines

This EMA study examines the effect of stressful life events and hassles in the lives of people with HIV. EMA methods were used to eliminate the problem of recall bias, allowing researchers to gain a more accurate picture of stressors in 32 HIV-infected individuals. Results showed that participants were faced with a large amount of daily stressors affecting their daily lives and functioning. EMA was a novel approach for this topic of study, and results showed that it was a successful methodology.

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Daily Spousal Responsiveness Predicts Longer-Term Trajectories of Patients’ Physical Function.

In this EMA study, 145 patients with knee osteoarthritis and their spouses’ responses to their pain expression was tracked. Individuals with empathetically responsive spouses showed overall better physical functioning over time than their less-empathetic counterparts.

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Eating disorder-related social comparison in college women’s everyday lives.

232 college women participated in this EMA study analyzing the roles and natures of upward and downward comparisons of body, eating, and exercise in body dissatisfaction and disordered eating thoughts and behaviors. Results uncovered six specific findings about the nature and frequency of these comparisons, which suggest that intervention needs to address not only body but eating and exercise comparisons as well.

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Evaluation of Ecological Momentary Assessment for Tinnitus Severity.

This EMA study analyzed tinnitus severity in 40 adults. They found that EMA was a useful tool for examining how bother, feeling, and stress symptoms vary across individuals and across time, while momentary variability in tinnitus bother was strongly related to perceived stress.

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Physical Activity

Physical Activity Increases after an Affectively Arousing Daily Life Event.

In this ambulatory assessment study, researchers measured the relationship between affective arousal and physical activity. Affective arousal was measured in terms of stress, by assessing college professors after giving a lecture. Results showed that affective arousal due to stress did, in fact, increase physical activity in the form of restless movement.

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Physiological Sensors


Does the Social Functioning Scale reflect real-life social functioning? An experience sampling study in patients with a non-affective psychotic disorder and healthy control individuals

In this experience sampling study, 126 patients with non-affective psychotic disorder and 106 controls participated in a 6 day ESM protocol. Additionally, they were assessed on their social functioning using the SFS scale–a retrospective measure. Multilevel regression analysis showed that patients exhibited lower levels of social functioning both through ESM measures and retrospective SFS measures. Overall, results suggest that ESM may be a useful tool for assessing social functioning in psychotic disorder patients.

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Affect in response to stressors and coping strategies: an ecological momentary assessment study of borderline personality disorder.

In this EMA study, researchers examined the relationship between affect instability and daily stressors in patients with borderline personality disorder. Due to the vast fluctuations that can occur in affect of a BPD patient daily, EMA was a key method to employ. Participants reported their affect fluctuations in addition to any stressors they encountered day to day. A mixed effect regression model showed that stressors led to feelings of negative affect–especially when the stressor was “being in a disagreement with someone.” Additionally, the coping strategy with the largest effect was “doing something good for oneself.” Overall, EMA methods were successful in deepening our understanding of affect instability in BPD patients.

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Positive affective functioning in anhedonic individuals’ daily life: Anything but flat and blunted.

Previous research has pointed to anhedonia involving flattened or blunted positive affect. In this experience sampling study, real life positive affect experiences were measured throughout a 30 day time span; and participants were assessed a total of 90 times throughout the 30 days. Multilevel analysis showed that individuals with anhedonia showed more variability and much less stability in PA, but not an overall absence of it. In fact, high arousal was correlated with higher levels of PA in the anhedonia group than the control group; however, low arousal was correlated with much lower levels of PA in the anhedonia group. Overall, results suggest anhedonia operated much differently than previously believed.

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Perceiving social pressure not to feel negative predicts depressive symptoms in daily life.

This Daily Diary study examines the relationship between depression and societal pressure to “feel happy.” Recent studies have examined the presence of a pressure not to be sad or negative in modern society, and the current study takes these findings a step further. Results showed that perceived social pressure plays an instigating role in depression. These findings have further clinical implications.

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The Relationship between Interpersonal Trauma History and the Functions of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury in Young Adults: An Experience Sampling Study.

In this study, researchers used experience sampling to better understand the contributing factors to non-suicidal injuries. Specifically, they looked into how a history of interpersonal trauma may be a key risk factor for NSSI. Results showed a moderating effect of trauma history on non-suicidal self-injury.

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Investigating the Dynamics of Suicidal Ideation.

This EMA study demonstrated the dynamic nature of suicidal ideation. Participants with unipolar depression and/or lifetime SI reported ratings of their momentary SI ten times per day over a six day period, and results showed high fluctuation between and within participants.

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Smoking Cessation

Proximity and gravity: modeling heaped self-reports.

This EMA study tests another way to measure smoking habits in smoking cessation studies. Specifically, EMA may be a successful method for combatting the “heaping phenomenon” that often occurs during smoking cessation trials. This phenomenon is inhibitory to studies, and thus, EMA offers a promising way to avoid it, and thus for researchers to be able to gather much more accurate data.

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Anhedonia: Its Dynamic Relations With Craving, Negative Affect, and Treatment During a Quit Smoking Attempt.

A ten-day EMA study was conducted to examine the withdrawal-related effects of smoking cessation in relation to several contributing variables. Specifically, researchers examined the withdrawal-related symptom anhedonia (loss of pleasure), and how it may differ from patient to patient according to treatment, level of dependence, craving, negative affect, etc. They found that anhedonia could be significantly reduced with NRT, and that it has a moderate positive relationship with negative affect. Overall, results further the evidence that anhedonia is, in fact, a manifestation of tobacco-withdrawal syndrome.

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Comparison of Ecological Momentary Assessment Versus Direct Measurement of E-Cigarette Use With a Bluetooth-Enabled E-Cigarette: A Pilot Study.

In this pilot study, researchers tested the accuracy and feasibility of using a bluetooth-enabled E-cigarette to track E-cigarette use. Participants self-reported on their daily E-cigarette use, and the data from the self-reports and from the bluetooth tracker were analyzed using an independent samples t-test. Results showed that the E-cigarette was able to capture significantly more E-cigarette use than a daily-self report, contributing to the belief that bluetooth-enabled E-cigarettes are an accurate and powerful tool for data collection.

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A bespoke mobile application for the longitudinal assessment of depression and mood during pregnancy: protocol of a feasibility study.

This study measures the feasibility of using ecological momentary assessment methods to assess mood during pregnancy. Specifically, researchers were interested in the implications of EMA for helping pregnant mothers struggling with depression to get diagnosed and treated. EMA methods were compared with retrospective methods.

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The experience sampling method as an mHealth tool to support self-monitoring, self-insight, and personalized health care in clinical practice.

In this study, researchers examined datasets across several studies which used experience sampling as a primary method in their experimental design. The data examined ranged from studies about mindfulness, to studies examining emotion dynamics. Altogether, this data pointed to the conclusion that ESM can be used to enhance therapy and personalized healthcare in clinical practice. This method contributes to a higher level of self-monitoring as well as self-insight in patients–both of which are important in clinical practice. In addition, researchers belief this allows patients to have a higher sense of ownership in their diagnosis and treatment process, which leads to better compliance and better outcomes.

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The Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR): A Method for the Naturalistic Observation of Daily Social Behavior.

In this study, researchers examined the feasibility of using the Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR) for ambulatory ecological momentary assessment. The device is an audio recorder that records snippets of ambient sounds throughout the day. Ultimately, it is a naturalistic method of observation, allowing researchers to collect authentic, real-life data.

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Feasibility and reliability of a mobile tool to evaluate exposure to tobacco product marketing and messages using ecological momentary assessment.

In this EMA study, participants reported their exposure to tobacco product and e-cigarette marketing over a course of 30 days. These methods reduced the problems associated with recall error, allowing researchers to get a more complete and accurate picture of product marketing. Results showed that the majority of marketing was consumed through internet use. Overall, EMA seems to be a successful method for measuring marketing exposure.

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Systematic Review: Using mobile-technology-based Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) methods with youth: a systematic review and recommendations.

This systematic review of 24 unique EMA studies describes the success of using EMA methods with youth. Research suggests it can be effectively implemented with youth across diverse backgrounds, with slight protocol adaptations for younger children. Several specific methods of delivery are outlined in this review.

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Compliance With Mobile Ecological Momentary Assessment Protocols in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

This review of 42 EMA studies assessed youth’s compliance to mobile EMA protocols and moderators of compliance in both clinical and nonclinical settings. They found that the compliance rate in youth is moderate but suboptimal. Additionally, study design may affect compliance differently in clinical and nonclinical participants.

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