Publications by authors named "Teena Willoughby"

69 Publications

Cortical maturation from childhood to adolescence is reflected in resting state EEG signal complexity.

Dev Cogn Neurosci 2021 Apr 23;48:100945. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Department of Psychology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

Endogenous cortical fluctuations captured by electroencephalograms (EEGs) reflect activity in large-scale brain networks that exhibit dynamic patterns over multiple time scales. Developmental changes in the coordination and integration of brain function leads to greater complexity in population level neural dynamics. In this study we examined multiscale entropy, a measure of signal complexity, in resting-state EEGs in a large (N = 405) cross-sectional sample of children and adolescents (9-16 years). Our findings showed consistent age-dependent increases in EEG complexity that are distributed across multiple temporal scales and spatial regions. Developmental changes were most robust as the age gap between groups increased, particularly between late childhood and adolescence, and were most prominent over fronto-central scalp regions. These results suggest that the transition from late childhood to adolescence is characterized by age-dependent changes in the underlying complexity of endogenous brain networks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2021.100945DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8027532PMC
April 2021

Development of shyness across adolescence: Reactivity, regulation, or both?

Dev Psychol 2021 Mar;57(3):421-431

Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, McMaster University.

The reactivity-regulation model suggests that the origins and maintenance of shyness results from relatively high levels of reactivity in combination with relatively low levels of regulation. Although this model has received some empirical support, there are still issues regarding directionality of the relations among variables and a dearth of studies examining the joint influence of reactivity and regulation on the prospective development of shyness. Using a longitudinal design, we first examined whether the relations among reactivity, regulation, and shyness were unidirectional or bidirectional in a sample of 1284 children (49.8% female, 84.1% White; mean parental education fell between associate degree/diploma and undergraduate degree) assessed annually across three waves from late childhood and early adolescence (Mage = 10.72 years) to adolescence (Mage = 12.42 years) and then examined whether reactivity and regulation interacted to influence the development of shyness over time. At Wave 1, shyness was related to higher levels of reactivity and lower levels of regulation at Wave 2, but neither reactivity nor regulation at Wave 1 predicted shyness at Wave 2. At Wave 2, shyness predicted greater reactivity at Wave 3, but shyness at Wave 3 was only predicted by lower levels of regulation at Wave 2. Contrary to the reactivity-regulation model of shyness, we found that relatively high levels of reactivity and low levels of regulation predicted a steep decrease in shyness over 3 years. These results are discussed in the context of the socioemotional difficulties experienced by shy individuals and demonstrate the importance of empirically evaluating long-standing models of personality development. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/dev0001159DOI Listing
March 2021

A person-centered examination of emotion dysregulation, sensitivity to threat, and impulsivity among children and adolescents: An ERP study.

Dev Cogn Neurosci 2021 Feb 24;47:100900. Epub 2020 Dec 24.

Department of Psychology, Brock University, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St. Catharines, ON, L2S 3A1, Canada.

Objectives: Adolescence often is characterized by the onset of social anxiety and risk taking; yet, not all youth are anxious and/or risk takers. There are several factors that may help differentiate youth with anxiety (e.g., threat sensitivity and emotion dysregulation) and youth who take risks (e.g., impulsivity and emotion dysregulation). We conducted a latent class analysis to identify groups of youth who differ in these processes, and then investigated group differences on the error-related negativity, an ERP that has been differentially associated with threat sensitivity and impulsivity.

Method: Youth (N = 1313, M = 11, range = 8-15 years) completed a survey assessing their emotion dysregulation, sensitivity to threat, and impulsivity. A subsample (N = 424) also completed a go/no-go task while EEG was recorded.

Results And Conclusions: Four groups were identified with differential levels of emotion dysregulation, sensitivity to threat, and impulsivity. Adolescents had greater odds than children of being in the High_Dysregulation/ThreatSensitivity or ModerateDysregulation/HighImpulsivity Groups in comparison to two other groups with lower scores. The High_Dysregulation/ThreatSensitivity Group had the largest ERN, while the ModerateDysregulation/HighImpulsivity Group had the smallest ERN. The ERN may be a potential biomarker to help distinguish between different profiles of adolescents who may be at risk for either anxiety or risk taking.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2020.100900DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7787925PMC
February 2021

A longitudinal study investigating trajectories of sensitivity to threat over time and their association with alpha asymmetry among children and adolescents.

Dev Cogn Neurosci 2020 12 30;46:100863. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

Department of Psychology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, L2S 3A1, Canada.

Research has yet to investigate trajectories of sensitivity to threat across childhood and adolescence. Further, neural associations of these trajectories remain unknown. The current 3-year study used a latent class growth curve analysis to investigate whether there were distinct trajectories of sensitivity to threat among children and adolescents over time (N = 363; age range at Time 1 = 8-14). We also examined whether alpha asymmetry (a neural index of motivational tendencies) was associated with the different trajectories. Results revealed three distinct trajectory groups (1) high-stable sensitivity to threat, (2) moderate-increasing sensitivity to threat and (3) low-stable sensitivity to threat. The high-stable sensitivity to threat group had greater right frontal asymmetry activation (i.e., greater neural avoidance motivation) than the other two groups. Additionally, females, those with higher parental education, and individuals with more advanced pubertal development (but not age) had greater odds of being part of the high-stable sensitivity to threat group compared to the other groups. Of interest, puberty rather than age may be an important indicator of heightened sensitivity to threat.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2020.100863DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7649451PMC
December 2020

A Latent Class Analysis of Adolescents in First-Year University: Associations with Psychosocial Adjustment Throughout the Emerging Adult Period and Post-University Outcomes.

J Youth Adolesc 2020 Dec 21;49(12):2459-2475. Epub 2020 Sep 21.

Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, Canada.

The long-term outcomes for adolescents who struggle in first-year university remain unexplored. This 7-year longitudinal study aimed to identify distinct groups of adolescents based on their characteristics/behaviors in first-year university, and then assess whether these groups differ in psychosocial adjustment trajectories (i.e., mental health, positive relationships) throughout the emerging adult period, as well as in graduation rates, employment characteristics, and reflections on time spent at university. Participants (N = 1017; 71% female; Year 1 M = 19 years) enrolled in a Canadian university completed a survey annually for 7 years. Four groups in Year 1 were identified: Good Students who exhibited no difficulties; Sensation-Seeking who prioritized social engagement and substance use over academic engagement but reported no psychological adjustment difficulties; Struggling Students who had the most difficulties; and Club Involved who exhibited high club involvement. The Struggling Students Group continued to have more psychosocial adjustment difficulties than the other groups during and after university, were more likely to drop out of university, and to later have less job satisfaction. This group requires the most support. Consideration also should be given to the Sensation-Seeking Group, as they reported a lack of academic motivation (and regret about that later) and also were more likely to drop out of university. At the same time, they may be more difficult to target given that they did not report psychosocial difficulties. Overall, the findings highlight the need for early support and discourage a 'one-size fits all' method for promoting psychosocial adjustment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-020-01318-7DOI Listing
December 2020

Lying to friends: Examining lie-telling, friendship quality, and depressive symptoms over time during late childhood and adolescence.

J Adolesc 2020 10 7;84:123-135. Epub 2020 Sep 7.

Brock University, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St. Catharines, ON, L2S 3A1, Canada. Electronic address:

Introduction: Lie-telling appears to peak during adolescence; however, previous research has not yet examined lie-telling frequency in adolescents' friendships. Increased lie-telling may be problematic given that honesty is crucial for trust within positive relationships, and more positive relationships lead to more positive well-being. The present study examined adolescents' lies to friends and longitudinal associations between lying, friendship quality, and depressive symptoms.

Methods: Canadian adolescents (Time 1: N = 1313, M = 11.65, SD = 11.75, 50% male) reported how often they lied to their friends about their mental health/mood, possessions, romantic relationships, school, and to avoid spending time with them. Participants also completed measures of friendship quality and depressive symptoms. Participants completed these measures at two time points one year apart.

Results: Poorer friendship quality predicted more frequent lie-telling over time. Greater depressive symptoms predicted more frequent lie-telling over time, and more frequent lie-telling predicted greater depressive symptoms over time. Lies about mental health in particular were bidirectionally associated with both friendship quality and depressive symptoms over time.

Conclusions: These findings highlight the developmental importance of lie-telling during adolescence. More negative friendships lead to greater lie-telling over time. Additionally, increased lie-telling predicted and is predicted by depressive symptoms, suggesting that lie-telling may be an important indicator of poor mental health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2020.08.003DOI Listing
October 2020

A Longitudinal Person-Centered Examination of Affinity for Aloneness Among Children and Adolescents.

Child Dev 2020 Nov 29;91(6):2001-2018. Epub 2020 Jul 29.

Brock University.

Affinity for aloneness among youth often is viewed negatively. However, some youth may enjoy solitude for positive reasons, rather than because of social anxiety. The prevalence and adjustment over time of youth with high affinity for aloneness is unclear. Groups of children (N = 605, M  = 9.29) and adolescents (N = 596, M  = 12.20) were identified using affinity for aloneness and social anxiety scores, and group differences in adjustment were assessed. Latent class analyses revealed four groups at T1 and T2 for both samples. Among these were Normative (Low.affinity_for_aloneness-Low.social_anxiety) and Affinity for Aloneness (High.affinity_for_aloneness-LowMod.social_anxiety) groups. These groups did not differ longitudinally in adjustment. Having elevated levels of affinity for aloneness without high social anxiety is relatively benign.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13411DOI Listing
November 2020

Sensitivity to negative feedback among children and adolescents: An ERP study comparing developmental differences between high-worriers and low-worriers.

Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci 2020 06;20(3):624-635

Department of Psychology, Brock University, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St. Catharines, ON, L2S 3A1, Canada.

Neurodevelopmental imbalance models suggest that asynchrony in the maturation of interconnections between brain regions contributes to adolescents being more sensitive to emotionally salient events (e.g., negative feedback) than children. There may, however, be important individual differences to consider when investigating sensitivity to negative feedback. For example, worriers tend to have a greater sensitivity to negative feedback than low-worriers. Thus, it may be that adolescents' sensitivity to negative feedback is tied to worry. One way to test this question is to compare worriers to nonworriers separately for both children and adolescents. If only adolescent worriers are sensitive to negative feedback (i.e., low-worriers are not), then sensitivity to negative feedback may be linked to higher rates of worry. If however, adolescent nonworriers also have a sensitivity, then adolescents in general may be sensitive to negative feedback. The current study (N = 100, Mage = 11.26, standard deviation = 1.71) used event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate neural differences in sensitivity to negative feedback among adolescents and children with high and low levels of worry. For both children and adolescents, worriers had a larger P3 amplitude to negative feedback than nonworriers. This difference, however, was smaller among the adolescents (i.e., adolescent nonworriers also had a large P3 amplitude to negative feedback). Our results support neurodevelopmental imbalance models that suggest adolescents in general are sensitive to emotionally salient events, such as receiving negative feedback.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13415-020-00791-8DOI Listing
June 2020

A Longitudinal Examination of the Relation Between Lie-Telling, Secrecy, Parent-Child Relationship Quality, and Depressive Symptoms in Late-Childhood and Adolescence.

J Youth Adolesc 2020 Feb 14;49(2):438-448. Epub 2020 Jan 14.

Psychology Department, Brock University, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St. Catharines, ON, L2S 3A1, Canada.

Lie-telling and secret-keeping are common behaviors during adolescence. Given the importance of honesty for building trust in positive relationships, the present study examined relations between lie-telling, secret-keeping, and relationship quality over time. Additionally, given the protective role of positive relationships in developing depression, the present study examined how lying to and keeping secrets from parents related to depressive symptoms over time. Children and adolescents (N = 1313; 8 to 15 years old at Time 1, M= 11.65, SD = 11.75; 50.04% male) reported on lying to parents, secret-keeping from parents, relationship quality with parents, and depressive symptoms at two time points one year apart. The results indicated that greater secret-keeping was bidirectionally associated with poorer parent-child relationship quality and greater depressive symptoms over time. Thus, keeping secrets from parents appears to be an important behavior to examine in the context of development between late childhood and adolescence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-019-01183-zDOI Listing
February 2020

Investigating honesty-humility and impulsivity as predictors of aggression in children and youth.

Aggress Behav 2020 01 12;46(1):97-106. Epub 2019 Nov 12.

Department of Psychology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

Among adult and adolescent populations, the personality trait of honesty-humility (HH) has been linked to aggression. For example, adults low in HH have been found to exhibit higher levels of workplace delinquency and revenge motivation, and adolescent low in HH are more likely to bully others. However, there is a paucity of research examining this relationship in children and youth, and how these relationships develop over time. The current study addressed these gaps in the literature by assessing whether HH and impulsivity are independently associated with aggression in children Grades 3 through 8 (N = 1201). Using data from the two waves of a longitudinal project, autoregressive crossed-lagged path analysis was used to examine the bidirectional relationships between HH, impulsivity, and aggression over a 1-year period. Results revealed significant bidirectional relationships between HH and aggression, such that lower scores of HH at Time 1 were associated with higher scores of aggression at Time 2 and vice versa. Similarly, higher scores of impulsivity at Time 1 were associated with higher scores of aggression at Time 2 and vice versa. In addition, these relationships were strongest in boys and at higher ages. Consistent with research in other populations, these results indicate that low HH and high impulsivity are linked to aggression in children and youth. Further, our results demonstrate that HH and impulsivity bidirectionally impact aggression as one age, suggesting a need for early intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ab.21874DOI Listing
January 2020

Perceptions of Dishonesty: Understanding Parents' Reports of and Influence on Children and Adolescents' Lie-Telling.

J Youth Adolesc 2020 Jan 2;49(1):49-59. Epub 2019 Nov 2.

Psychology Department, Brock University, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St. Catharines, ON, L2S 3A1, Canada.

Previous studies suggest parents lack knowledge regarding child and adolescent lie-telling; however, no study to date has examined children's and parents' reports of lying within parent-child dyads. The current study examined parents' knowledge of and influence on children's and adolescents' lie-telling. Parent-child dyads (N= 351) completed self-report surveys. Children (8-14 years, 52.3% children female) reported on prosocial and antisocial lie-telling. Parents (M = 41.68, 89.5% parents female) reported on their child's lie-telling, as well as their own honesty-targeted parenting strategies and modeling of dishonest behaviors. Parents' reports were unrelated to children's and adolescents' reports of prosocial and antisocial lie-telling. Additionally, parents' honesty-targeted parenting strategies and modeling of dishonesty did not predict children's lie-telling. Parents' behaviors predicted their reports of children's lie-telling, suggesting parents' behaviors bias their reports. Parents' biased perception of adolescents lie-telling may have negative implications for parent-child relationships.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-019-01153-5DOI Listing
January 2020

Perceptions of Dishonesty: Understanding Parents' Reports of and Influence on Children and Adolescents' Lie-Telling.

J Youth Adolesc 2020 Jan 2;49(1):49-59. Epub 2019 Nov 2.

Psychology Department, Brock University, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St. Catharines, ON, L2S 3A1, Canada.

Previous studies suggest parents lack knowledge regarding child and adolescent lie-telling; however, no study to date has examined children's and parents' reports of lying within parent-child dyads. The current study examined parents' knowledge of and influence on children's and adolescents' lie-telling. Parent-child dyads (N= 351) completed self-report surveys. Children (8-14 years, 52.3% children female) reported on prosocial and antisocial lie-telling. Parents (M = 41.68, 89.5% parents female) reported on their child's lie-telling, as well as their own honesty-targeted parenting strategies and modeling of dishonest behaviors. Parents' reports were unrelated to children's and adolescents' reports of prosocial and antisocial lie-telling. Additionally, parents' honesty-targeted parenting strategies and modeling of dishonesty did not predict children's lie-telling. Parents' behaviors predicted their reports of children's lie-telling, suggesting parents' behaviors bias their reports. Parents' biased perception of adolescents lie-telling may have negative implications for parent-child relationships.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-019-01153-5DOI Listing
January 2020

Perceptions of Dishonesty: Understanding Parents' Reports of and Influence on Children and Adolescents' Lie-Telling.

J Youth Adolesc 2020 Jan 2;49(1):49-59. Epub 2019 Nov 2.

Psychology Department, Brock University, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St. Catharines, ON, L2S 3A1, Canada.

Previous studies suggest parents lack knowledge regarding child and adolescent lie-telling; however, no study to date has examined children's and parents' reports of lying within parent-child dyads. The current study examined parents' knowledge of and influence on children's and adolescents' lie-telling. Parent-child dyads (N= 351) completed self-report surveys. Children (8-14 years, 52.3% children female) reported on prosocial and antisocial lie-telling. Parents (M = 41.68, 89.5% parents female) reported on their child's lie-telling, as well as their own honesty-targeted parenting strategies and modeling of dishonest behaviors. Parents' reports were unrelated to children's and adolescents' reports of prosocial and antisocial lie-telling. Additionally, parents' honesty-targeted parenting strategies and modeling of dishonesty did not predict children's lie-telling. Parents' behaviors predicted their reports of children's lie-telling, suggesting parents' behaviors bias their reports. Parents' biased perception of adolescents lie-telling may have negative implications for parent-child relationships.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-019-01153-5DOI Listing
January 2020

Perceptions of Dishonesty: Understanding Parents' Reports of and Influence on Children and Adolescents' Lie-Telling.

J Youth Adolesc 2020 Jan 2;49(1):49-59. Epub 2019 Nov 2.

Psychology Department, Brock University, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St. Catharines, ON, L2S 3A1, Canada.

Previous studies suggest parents lack knowledge regarding child and adolescent lie-telling; however, no study to date has examined children's and parents' reports of lying within parent-child dyads. The current study examined parents' knowledge of and influence on children's and adolescents' lie-telling. Parent-child dyads (N= 351) completed self-report surveys. Children (8-14 years, 52.3% children female) reported on prosocial and antisocial lie-telling. Parents (M = 41.68, 89.5% parents female) reported on their child's lie-telling, as well as their own honesty-targeted parenting strategies and modeling of dishonest behaviors. Parents' reports were unrelated to children's and adolescents' reports of prosocial and antisocial lie-telling. Additionally, parents' honesty-targeted parenting strategies and modeling of dishonesty did not predict children's lie-telling. Parents' behaviors predicted their reports of children's lie-telling, suggesting parents' behaviors bias their reports. Parents' biased perception of adolescents lie-telling may have negative implications for parent-child relationships.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-019-01153-5DOI Listing
January 2020

A person-centered analysis of sleep and emotion dysregulation: Short- and long-term links with depression and alcohol use.

J Am Coll Health 2019 07 5;67(5):486-496. Epub 2018 Oct 5.

a Department of Psychology , Brock University , St. Catharines , ON , Canada.

: Our objective was to examine the co-occurrence of sleep problems and emotion dysregulation and its short- and long-term links to depressive symptoms and alcohol use in a sample of university students. : Participants included 1132 first-year university students from Southern Ontario (70.5% women). Time 1 data were collected in February/March, 2010, and Time 2 data ( = 746) were collected in February/March, 2014. Participants were surveyed about sleep problems and emotion dysregulation (Time 1), and depressive symptoms and alcohol use (Times 1 and 2). A latent class analysis revealed four groups: (1) Low Co-Occurrence, (2) Sleep Problems Only, (3) Emotion Dysregulation Only, and (4) High Co-occurrence. Group 4 had more depressive symptoms than all other groups in both the short- and long-term. First year university students with high co-occurrence of sleep problems and emotion dysregulation may be a target group for programs focused on reducing adjustment difficulties.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2018.1497637DOI Listing
July 2019

A person-centered analysis of sleep and emotion dysregulation: Short- and long-term links with depression and alcohol use.

J Am Coll Health 2019 07 5;67(5):486-496. Epub 2018 Oct 5.

a Department of Psychology , Brock University , St. Catharines , ON , Canada.

: Our objective was to examine the co-occurrence of sleep problems and emotion dysregulation and its short- and long-term links to depressive symptoms and alcohol use in a sample of university students. : Participants included 1132 first-year university students from Southern Ontario (70.5% women). Time 1 data were collected in February/March, 2010, and Time 2 data ( = 746) were collected in February/March, 2014. Participants were surveyed about sleep problems and emotion dysregulation (Time 1), and depressive symptoms and alcohol use (Times 1 and 2). A latent class analysis revealed four groups: (1) Low Co-Occurrence, (2) Sleep Problems Only, (3) Emotion Dysregulation Only, and (4) High Co-occurrence. Group 4 had more depressive symptoms than all other groups in both the short- and long-term. First year university students with high co-occurrence of sleep problems and emotion dysregulation may be a target group for programs focused on reducing adjustment difficulties.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2018.1497637DOI Listing
July 2019

Long-Term Links between Physical Activity and Sleep Quality.

Med Sci Sports Exerc 2018 12;50(12):2418-2424

Department of Psychology, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, CANADA.

Purpose: Findings from cross-sectional research indicate that the relationship between sleep quality and physical activity is mixed. For research that does indicate a significant association, the interpretation of the finding most often is that physical activity leads to better sleep, or less frequently, that better sleep leads to more involvement in physical activity (see sleep deprivation studies). Cross-sectional studies, however, are not able to assess the direction of these effects, and experimental studies have tested only one direction of the effects. Longitudinal studies, with their focus on temporal order, are needed to specifically examine the link between sleep and physical activity as well as the direction of effects. The current study had three goals: to examine 1) the longitudinal relationship between sleep and physical activity, 2) the direction of effects, and 3) whether emotion regulation mediates the relationship between sleep and physical activity.

Methods: Participants included a sample of 827 (Mage at baseline = 19.04 yr, SD = 0.92 yr, 73.88% female) students at a university in Southwestern Ontario, who took part in a larger longitudinal survey that started in their first year of university. Participants were surveyed annually for 3 yr (2011, 2012, 2013; retention, 83.9%). Measures assessed sleep quality, physical activity, emotion regulation, and involvement in sports clubs.

Results: A cross-lagged autoregressive path analysis revealed that sleep quality indirectly predicted increased high-, moderate-, and low-intensity physical activity over time through its positive effect on emotion regulation. Moderate levels of physical activity indirectly predicted sleep quality over time through emotion regulation.

Conclusions: Overall, there appears to be support for a bidirectional relationship between sleep and physical activity over time (at least for moderate physical activity) but only indirectly through emotion regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000001706DOI Listing
December 2018

Psychosocial Adjustment Throughout University: A Longitudinal Investigation of the Roles of Sleep Quality and Emotion Dysregulation.

J Youth Adolesc 2018 06 23;47(6):1267-1278. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

Department of Psychology, Brock University, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St. Catharines, ON, L2S 3A1, Canada.

Sleep problems and emotion dysregulation are associated with depressive symptoms and alcohol use but little research has examined the long-term associations and the direction of effects between these factors. We examined these relationships with 1132 undergraduates (70.5% female) over 5 years. Sleep problems and emotion dysregulation, sleep problems and depressive symptoms, and emotion dysregulation and depressive symptoms were all related bidirectionally. Tests of indirect effects indicated that sleep problems predicted depressive symptoms over time (and vice versa) via emotion dysregulation and emotion dysregulation predicted depressive symptoms over time (and vice versa) via sleep problems. The results highlight the need to assess direction of effects, given that many factors that are typically seen as "predictors" also can be framed as "outcomes".
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-018-0826-5DOI Listing
June 2018

Psychosocial Adjustment Throughout University: A Longitudinal Investigation of the Roles of Sleep Quality and Emotion Dysregulation.

J Youth Adolesc 2018 06 23;47(6):1267-1278. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

Department of Psychology, Brock University, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St. Catharines, ON, L2S 3A1, Canada.

Sleep problems and emotion dysregulation are associated with depressive symptoms and alcohol use but little research has examined the long-term associations and the direction of effects between these factors. We examined these relationships with 1132 undergraduates (70.5% female) over 5 years. Sleep problems and emotion dysregulation, sleep problems and depressive symptoms, and emotion dysregulation and depressive symptoms were all related bidirectionally. Tests of indirect effects indicated that sleep problems predicted depressive symptoms over time (and vice versa) via emotion dysregulation and emotion dysregulation predicted depressive symptoms over time (and vice versa) via sleep problems. The results highlight the need to assess direction of effects, given that many factors that are typically seen as "predictors" also can be framed as "outcomes".
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-018-0826-5DOI Listing
June 2018

Shyness and Social Anxiety Assessed Through Self-Report: What Are We Measuring?

J Pers Assess 2019 Jan-Feb;101(1):54-63. Epub 2017 Nov 10.

a Department of Psychology , Brock University , St. Catharines , Ontario , Canada.

The distinction between shyness and social anxiety remains unclear in the literature. In an attempt to shed further light on this issue, our research evaluated whether shyness and social anxiety were the same construct underlying various measurement scales. Participants (N = 801, M = 36.21, range = 18-74, female = 53.10%) responded to 10 questionnaires assessing either shyness or social anxiety. Evidence indicated that the scales were highly correlated and loaded onto 1 factor. Confirmatory factor analysis corroborated this finding. A second exploratory factor analysis revealed that all the shyness and social anxiety items best loaded together onto 3 factors: one corresponding to fear of negative evaluation, embarrassment, self-consciousness, scrutiny, authority, interaction anxiety, and shyness (71.0%); a second comprised of primarily interaction anxiety and shyness (17.7%); and a third associated with performance anxiety (7.5%). All scales were similarly discriminated from sociability. Overall, the constructs of shyness and social anxiety were not differentiated from each other. Researchers should carefully consider what items are included in shyness and social anxiety scales if these constructs are to be distinguished from one another.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00223891.2017.1388808DOI Listing
March 2020

A count of coping strategies: A longitudinal study investigating an alternative method to understanding coping and adjustment.

PLoS One 2017 5;12(10):e0186057. Epub 2017 Oct 5.

Department of Psychology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

Researchers recently have suggested that coping flexibility (i.e., an individual's ability to modify and change coping strategies depending on the context) may be an important way to investigate coping. The availability of numerous coping strategies may be an important precursor to coping flexibility, given that flexibility can only be obtained if an individual is able to access and use different coping strategies. Typically, studies examining the use of coping strategies compute means-based analyses, which assess not only what strategies are used but also how much they are used. Thus, there is limited ability to differentiate between individuals who use a lot of strategies infrequently, and individuals who use only one or two strategies a lot. One way to address this confound is to count the number of strategies that an individual uses without attention to how frequently they use them (i.e., a count-based approach). The present longitudinal study compares a count-based model and a means-based model of coping and adjustment among undergraduates (N = 1132). An autoregressive cross-lagged path analysis revealed that for the count-based approach, using a greater number of positive coping strategies led to more positive adjustment and less suicide ideation over time than using a smaller number of positive coping strategies. Further, engagement in a greater number of negative coping strategies predicted more depressive symptoms and poorer emotion regulation over time. In comparison, the means-based model revealed identical results for negative coping strategies; however, engagement in more frequent positive coping strategies did not predict better positive adjustment over time. Thus, a count-based approach offers a novel way to examine how the number of coping strategies that individuals use can help promote adjustment among university students.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0186057PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5642021PMC
November 2017

A count of coping strategies: A longitudinal study investigating an alternative method to understanding coping and adjustment.

PLoS One 2017 5;12(10):e0186057. Epub 2017 Oct 5.

Department of Psychology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

Researchers recently have suggested that coping flexibility (i.e., an individual's ability to modify and change coping strategies depending on the context) may be an important way to investigate coping. The availability of numerous coping strategies may be an important precursor to coping flexibility, given that flexibility can only be obtained if an individual is able to access and use different coping strategies. Typically, studies examining the use of coping strategies compute means-based analyses, which assess not only what strategies are used but also how much they are used. Thus, there is limited ability to differentiate between individuals who use a lot of strategies infrequently, and individuals who use only one or two strategies a lot. One way to address this confound is to count the number of strategies that an individual uses without attention to how frequently they use them (i.e., a count-based approach). The present longitudinal study compares a count-based model and a means-based model of coping and adjustment among undergraduates (N = 1132). An autoregressive cross-lagged path analysis revealed that for the count-based approach, using a greater number of positive coping strategies led to more positive adjustment and less suicide ideation over time than using a smaller number of positive coping strategies. Further, engagement in a greater number of negative coping strategies predicted more depressive symptoms and poorer emotion regulation over time. In comparison, the means-based model revealed identical results for negative coping strategies; however, engagement in more frequent positive coping strategies did not predict better positive adjustment over time. Thus, a count-based approach offers a novel way to examine how the number of coping strategies that individuals use can help promote adjustment among university students.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0186057PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5642021PMC
November 2017

A count of coping strategies: A longitudinal study investigating an alternative method to understanding coping and adjustment.

PLoS One 2017 5;12(10):e0186057. Epub 2017 Oct 5.

Department of Psychology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

Researchers recently have suggested that coping flexibility (i.e., an individual's ability to modify and change coping strategies depending on the context) may be an important way to investigate coping. The availability of numerous coping strategies may be an important precursor to coping flexibility, given that flexibility can only be obtained if an individual is able to access and use different coping strategies. Typically, studies examining the use of coping strategies compute means-based analyses, which assess not only what strategies are used but also how much they are used. Thus, there is limited ability to differentiate between individuals who use a lot of strategies infrequently, and individuals who use only one or two strategies a lot. One way to address this confound is to count the number of strategies that an individual uses without attention to how frequently they use them (i.e., a count-based approach). The present longitudinal study compares a count-based model and a means-based model of coping and adjustment among undergraduates (N = 1132). An autoregressive cross-lagged path analysis revealed that for the count-based approach, using a greater number of positive coping strategies led to more positive adjustment and less suicide ideation over time than using a smaller number of positive coping strategies. Further, engagement in a greater number of negative coping strategies predicted more depressive symptoms and poorer emotion regulation over time. In comparison, the means-based model revealed identical results for negative coping strategies; however, engagement in more frequent positive coping strategies did not predict better positive adjustment over time. Thus, a count-based approach offers a novel way to examine how the number of coping strategies that individuals use can help promote adjustment among university students.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0186057PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5642021PMC
November 2017

The Longitudinal Association Between Competitive Video Game Play and Aggression Among Adolescents and Young Adults.

Child Dev 2016 11 27;87(6):1877-1892. Epub 2016 Jun 27.

Brock University.

The longitudinal association between competitive video game play and aggression among young adults and adolescents was examined. Young adults (N = 1,132; M  = 19 years) were surveyed annually over 4 years about their video game play and aggression, and data from a 4-year longitudinal study of adolescents (N = 1,492; M  = 13 years) was reanalyzed. The results demonstrated a longitudinal association between competitive video game play and aggressive behavior among both age groups. In addition, competitive video game play predicted higher levels of aggressive affect over time, which, in turn, predicted higher levels of aggressive behavior over time, suggesting that aggressive affect was a mechanism of this link. These findings highlight the importance of investigating competitive elements of video game play that may predict aggression over time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12556DOI Listing
November 2016

Social anxiety and alcohol use across the university years: Adaptive and maladaptive groups.

Dev Psychol 2016 05 17;52(5):835-45. Epub 2016 Mar 17.

Department of Psychology, Brock University.

University/college can be a challenging time as students face developmental tasks such as building new social networks and achieving academically. Social anxiety may be disadvantageous in this setting given that social situations often include drinking and individuals with social anxiety tend to self-medicate through alcohol use. However, findings are mixed as to whether the association between social anxiety and alcohol use is positive or negative. To clarify the nature of this association, we used a person-centered longitudinal analysis to identify student groups based on levels of social anxiety symptoms and alcohol consumption. Undergraduates (N = 1132, 70.5% female, Mage = 19.06 at Time 1) enrolled in university completed a survey assessing social anxiety and alcohol use over 3 years, and psychosocial functioning and emotion coping behaviors at Time 1. Two out of 5 groups were identified with higher levels of social anxiety, 1 with moderately low alcohol use, and the other with moderately high alcohol use. Both groups reported higher levels of general anxiety, depressive symptoms, behavioral inhibition, emotional reactivity, daily hassles, and lower levels of social ties at Time 1 than the 3 groups with lower levels of social anxiety. Furthermore, the social anxiety-alcohol use group reported significantly lower academic grades and was more likely to endorse problematic emotion coping behaviors (e.g., self-injury) than the social anxiety-low alcohol use group. These results not only help explain the mixed findings in the literature but indicate that 1 group of socially anxious students may be particularly vulnerable to negative adjustment difficulties. (PsycINFO Database Record
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/dev0000110DOI Listing
May 2016

From outgroups to allied forces: Effect of intergroup cooperation in violent and nonviolent video games on boosting favorable outgroup attitudes.

J Exp Psychol Gen 2016 Mar;145(3):259-65

Department of Psychology, Brock University.

Here we addressed whether even violent video games can improve intergroup attitudes if played cooperatively with an outgroup, in keeping with the Contact Hypothesis. In addition, we examined potential mechanisms of this effect. In Experiment 1 (N = 77), Canadians played a violent video game (Call of Duty: Black Ops) against zombies, either cooperatively or independently (i.e., at the same time but solo) with a (supposed) University of Buffalo participant. As expected, cooperative (vs. solo) play significantly improved outgroup attitudes and pro-outgroup participant behavior, effects explained by heightened 1-group recategorization (i.e., feeling psychologically on the same team and connected with the outgroup member). In Experiment 2 (N = 239), effects of cooperation (vs. solo play) held whether playing a violent or nonviolent video game. Importantly, our findings offer an engaging and pragmatic solution to the pervasive issue of setting up and negotiating opportunities for successful intergroup cooperation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xge0000145DOI Listing
March 2016

Perceived morningness-eveningness predicts academic adjustment and substance use across university, but social jetlag is not to blame.

Chronobiol Int 2015 27;32(9):1233-45. Epub 2015 Oct 27.

c Department of Psychology , Brock University , St. Catharines, Ontario , Canada.

Past research has consistently found that evening-types typically report poorer academic adjustment and higher levels of substance use compared to morning-types. An important development within the morningness-eveningness and psychosocial adjustment literature has been the hypothesis that social jetlag (i.e. the asynchrony between an individual's "biological" and "social" clocks) is one factor that may explain why evening-types are at a greater risk for negative psychosocial adjustment. Yet, only a handful of studies have assessed social jetlag. Furthermore, the few studies that have assessed social jetlag have done so only with concurrent data, and thus have not been able to determine the direction of effects among morningness-eveningness, social jetlag and psychosocial adjustment. To address this important gap in the literature, the present 3-year longitudinal study employed the use of a cross-lagged auto-regressive model to specifically examine the predictive role of perceived morningness-eveningness and social jetlag on two important indices of psychosocial adjustment among university students: academic adjustment and substance use. We also assessed whether there would be an indirect effect between perceived morningness-eveningness and psychosocial adjustment through social jetlag. Participants were 942 (71.5% female; M = 19 years, SD = 0.90) undergraduates at a mid-sized university in Southern Ontario, Canada, who completed a survey at three assessments, each one year apart, beginning in first-year university. Measures were demographics (age, gender and parental education), sleep problems, perceived morningness-eveningness, social jetlag, academic adjustment and substance use. As hypothesized, results of path analyses indicated that a greater perceived eveningness preference significantly predicted higher social jetlag, poorer academic adjustment and higher substance use over time. In contrast, we found no support for social jetlag as a predictor of academic adjustment and substance use, indicating that social jetlag did not explain the link between perceived morningness-eveningness and negative psychosocial adjustment. An important finding was the significant predictive effect of higher substance use on social jetlag over time. Results of the present study highlight the importance of employing a longitudinal framework within which to specifically determine the direction of effects among the study variables in order to validate proposed theoretical models that aim to guide our understanding of how perceived morningness-eveningness, social jetlag, academic adjustment and substance use relate to each other.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/07420528.2015.1085062DOI Listing
September 2016

Perceived morningness-eveningness predicts academic adjustment and substance use across university, but social jetlag is not to blame.

Chronobiol Int 2015 27;32(9):1233-45. Epub 2015 Oct 27.

c Department of Psychology , Brock University , St. Catharines, Ontario , Canada.

Past research has consistently found that evening-types typically report poorer academic adjustment and higher levels of substance use compared to morning-types. An important development within the morningness-eveningness and psychosocial adjustment literature has been the hypothesis that social jetlag (i.e. the asynchrony between an individual's "biological" and "social" clocks) is one factor that may explain why evening-types are at a greater risk for negative psychosocial adjustment. Yet, only a handful of studies have assessed social jetlag. Furthermore, the few studies that have assessed social jetlag have done so only with concurrent data, and thus have not been able to determine the direction of effects among morningness-eveningness, social jetlag and psychosocial adjustment. To address this important gap in the literature, the present 3-year longitudinal study employed the use of a cross-lagged auto-regressive model to specifically examine the predictive role of perceived morningness-eveningness and social jetlag on two important indices of psychosocial adjustment among university students: academic adjustment and substance use. We also assessed whether there would be an indirect effect between perceived morningness-eveningness and psychosocial adjustment through social jetlag. Participants were 942 (71.5% female; M = 19 years, SD = 0.90) undergraduates at a mid-sized university in Southern Ontario, Canada, who completed a survey at three assessments, each one year apart, beginning in first-year university. Measures were demographics (age, gender and parental education), sleep problems, perceived morningness-eveningness, social jetlag, academic adjustment and substance use. As hypothesized, results of path analyses indicated that a greater perceived eveningness preference significantly predicted higher social jetlag, poorer academic adjustment and higher substance use over time. In contrast, we found no support for social jetlag as a predictor of academic adjustment and substance use, indicating that social jetlag did not explain the link between perceived morningness-eveningness and negative psychosocial adjustment. An important finding was the significant predictive effect of higher substance use on social jetlag over time. Results of the present study highlight the importance of employing a longitudinal framework within which to specifically determine the direction of effects among the study variables in order to validate proposed theoretical models that aim to guide our understanding of how perceived morningness-eveningness, social jetlag, academic adjustment and substance use relate to each other.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/07420528.2015.1085062DOI Listing
September 2016

Does Playing Sports Video Games Predict Increased Involvement in Real-Life Sports Over Several Years Among Older Adolescents and Emerging Adults?

J Youth Adolesc 2016 Feb 2;45(2):391-401. Epub 2015 Jun 2.

Department of Psychology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada.

Given the extreme popularity of video games among older adolescents and emerging adults, the investigation of positive outcomes of video game play during these developmental periods is crucial. An important direction for research in this area is the investigation of a link between sports video game play and involvement in real-life sports among youth. Yet, this association has not been examined in the long-term among older adolescents and emerging adults, and thus represents an exciting new area for discovery. The primary goal of the current study, therefore, was to examine the long-term association between sports video game play and involvement in real-life sports clubs among older adolescents and emerging adults. In addition, we examined whether self-esteem was an underlying mechanism of this longitudinal association. We surveyed older adolescents and emerging adults (N = 1132; 70.6 % female; M age = 19.06 years, range of 17-25 years at the first assessment) annually over 3 years about their video game play, self-esteem, and involvement in real-life sports. We found a long-term predictive effect of sports video game play on increased involvement in real-life sports over the 3 years. Furthermore, we demonstrated that self-esteem was an underlying mechanism of this long-term association. Our findings make an important contribution to an emerging body of literature on the positive outcomes of video game play, as they suggest that sports video game play may be an effective tool to promote real-life sports participation and physical activity among older adolescents and emerging adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-015-0312-2DOI Listing
February 2016

Does Playing Sports Video Games Predict Increased Involvement in Real-Life Sports Over Several Years Among Older Adolescents and Emerging Adults?

J Youth Adolesc 2016 Feb 2;45(2):391-401. Epub 2015 Jun 2.

Department of Psychology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada.

Given the extreme popularity of video games among older adolescents and emerging adults, the investigation of positive outcomes of video game play during these developmental periods is crucial. An important direction for research in this area is the investigation of a link between sports video game play and involvement in real-life sports among youth. Yet, this association has not been examined in the long-term among older adolescents and emerging adults, and thus represents an exciting new area for discovery. The primary goal of the current study, therefore, was to examine the long-term association between sports video game play and involvement in real-life sports clubs among older adolescents and emerging adults. In addition, we examined whether self-esteem was an underlying mechanism of this longitudinal association. We surveyed older adolescents and emerging adults (N = 1132; 70.6 % female; M age = 19.06 years, range of 17-25 years at the first assessment) annually over 3 years about their video game play, self-esteem, and involvement in real-life sports. We found a long-term predictive effect of sports video game play on increased involvement in real-life sports over the 3 years. Furthermore, we demonstrated that self-esteem was an underlying mechanism of this long-term association. Our findings make an important contribution to an emerging body of literature on the positive outcomes of video game play, as they suggest that sports video game play may be an effective tool to promote real-life sports participation and physical activity among older adolescents and emerging adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-015-0312-2DOI Listing
February 2016