Philip Stoner Proposes Thesis

Philip Stoner, a first-year student in the Counseling Psychology doctoral program at the University of Southern Mississippi, successfully proposed his master’s thesis today. Philip’s thesis will examine the relationship of vulnerable narcissism and emotion dysregulation in self-injurious behavior and self-criticism.

Both vulnerable narcissism and emotion dysregulation have been linked to suicidality in previous studies; however, relatively little is known about the relationship of these factors to self-injurious behavior and self-criticism in non-clinical settings. Philip’s study will use a college student sample and is anticipated to generate some useful information about the important topic of college student mental health.

Congratulations to Philip on the successful proposal!

Emily Prather Defends Dissertation on Anger and Binge Eating

Emily Prather successfully defended her doctoral dissertation yesterday at the University of Southern Mississippi, Predictors of Binge Eating in College Women. Emily's study evaluated the relationships among four theoretically relevant factors hypothesized to predict subclinical binge eating in a sample of college women: trait anger, anger suppression, impulsivity, and emotion regulation.

Emily started by confirming the four-factor structure of the UPPS Impulsivity Scale (Whiteside & Lynam, 2001) through confirmatory factor analysis. Multiple measures of impulsivity have been used in the literature, and the UPPS is one of the newer ones. Given that there has been some disagreement over the optimal factor structure, it was important to make sure that the four-factor structure of this measure would be confirmed in this sample. After confirming this factor structure, Emily found that the urgency and lack of perseverance factors predicted binge eating. Urgency was a hypothesized predictor, but the utility of perseverance was unexpected and suggests that the role of impulsivity in binge eating may be somewhat broader than previously thought.

Trait anger predicted binge eating over and above general negative affect, suggesting that there seems to be something about one's propensity to experience angry feelings that may be particularly useful in understanding binge eating. The tendency to suppress anger in an unhealthy manner also predicted binge eating, and both anger suppression and emotion regulation partially mediated the relationship between trait anger and binge eating. It appears that anger management and the development of emotion regulation strategies may be worth exploring for college women with subclinical binge eating.

Emily is currently
completing her predoctoral internship at Wellspan Behavioral Health in York, PA. She recently accepted a postdoc position with Wellspan to begin this summer.

Congratulations, Emily!

Predictors of Binge Eating in College Women

Emily Prather proposed her dissertation today, Predictors of Binge Eating in College Women. She did a great job with her proposal, and her dissertation committee approved her plan.

Emily's study aims to clarify the possible roles of trait anger, anger suppression, impulsivity, and emotion regulation in binge eating among college women. Data collection will begin in the fall. It is hoped that her study will inform our understanding of binge eating.

Unhealthy Anger

Despite its positive effects, anger also can get out of control, fueling aggression and leading to problems with one’s health, relationships, occupational performance, and overall quality of life.

In determining whether someone is experiencing the sort of anger that might lead to these problems, psychologists often assess the intensity, frequency, and duration of angry episodes, how someone expresses anger, and the type of consequences anger has produced. Such an evaluation can be very helpful in planning an effective course of treatment.

Of course, some people who have an anger problem already realize it. They may feel out of control or act in ways that seem uncontrolled or frightening to others. They may experience negative effects of their anger in important relationships, work, or other roles. And they have often had others express concerns about their anger.