Ulrich Ebner-Priemer

Ghent University, Gand, Flanders, Belgium

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Publications (58)178.4 Total impact

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    Martina Kanning · Ulrich Ebner-Priemer · Wolfgang Schlicht
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Evidence suggests that older adults show positive affects after participating in exercise bouts. However, it is less clear, if and how physical activities in daily living enhance affective states, too. This is dissatisfying, as most of older adults' physical activities are part of their daily living. To answer these questions we used activity-triggered e-diaries to investigate the within-subject effects of physical activity on three dimensions of affective states (valence, energetic arousal, calmness) during everyday life. Methods: Older adults (N = 74) between 50 and 70 years took part in the study during three consecutive days. Physical activity in daily living was objectively assessed using accelerometers. Affects were measured 10 min after a study participant surpassed a predefined threshold for activity or inactivity. The participants were prompted by an acoustic signal to assess their momentary affective states on an e-diary. Data were analyzed with hierarchical multilevel analyses. Results: Whenever older individuals were more physically active, they felt more energized (energetic arousal) and agitated (calmness). However, they did not feel better (valence). Interestingly, body mass index (BMI) and valence were associated in a significant cross-level interaction. BMI acts as a moderating variable in the way that lower BMI scores were associated with higher levels of valence scores after being physically active. Conclusions: The innovative ambulatory assessment used here affords an interesting insight to the affective effects of daily activity of older adults. These effects are no simple and no linear ones, i.e. physical activity is not associated with positive affects per se as shown several times in experimental studies with single activity bouts. Rather there is a differentiating association seen as an enhanced feeling of energy and agitation, which is not accompanied by a better feeling. Socio-emotional selectivity theory may support the finding that older individuals are emotionally more stable during their day-to-day life, which might explain the non-significant effect on the affect dimension valence.
    International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 09/2015; 12(1):111. DOI:10.1186/s12966-015-0272-7 · 4.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cognitive theories of recurrent depression suggest that the relationship between mood and cognition is altered by previous depressive episodes. In individuals remitted from depression (RMD) this would be linked to a larger susceptibility for new depressive symptoms. This study explored whether the association between mood and rumination indeed is different between RMD and nondepressed controls relying on dynamic systems theory (DST). From DST we selected entropy, defined here as the level of unpredictability in the relation between mood and rumination, as the main variable of interest. Daily electronic dairy measures of mood and rumination were administered in 31 RMD patients and 32 healthy controls. The results indicate that mean levels of rumination and negative mood were elevated in RMD compared with controls. At the group level, entropy did not differ significantly and entropy was also not associated with the number of episodes. However, entropy predicted depressive symptoms in the RMD group and the brooding subtype of rumination in both groups at the 6-month follow-up. These data are specific for entropy and were not obtained using mean levels of momentary mood and rumination.
    07/2015; 3(4). DOI:10.1177/2167702615578129
  • Birte von Haaren · Sascha Haertel · Juergen Stumpp · Stefan Hey · Ulrich W. Ebner-Priemer
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: To examine if a preventive 20-week aerobic exercise intervention (AET) can improve emotional stress reactivity during real-life stress. Design: Randomised controlled trial; within-subject design. Method: Sixty-one inactive students were randomly assigned to a waiting control and an AET group. To capture the situation-specific, intra-individual data in real life, electronic diaries were used. Participants reported their moods and perceived stress (PS) repeatedly over two days during their daily routines pre- and post-intervention. The pre-intervention baseline assessment was scheduled at the beginning of the semester, and the post-intervention assessment was scheduled at a real-life stressful episode, an academic examination. For the aerobic fitness assessment, both groups completed a cardiopulmonary exercise test on the treadmill before and after the intervention. Multilevel models (MLMs) were conducted to compare within- and between-subject associations. Results: Significant emotional stress reactivity was evident in both groups during all assessment periods. However, participants in the AET group showed lower emotional stress reactivity compared with their control counterparts after the 20-week training programme during the real-life stress episode (the academic examination). Conclusions: AET conferred beneficial effects on emotional stress reactivity during an academic examination, which is likely an extremely stressful real-life situation for students.AET appears to be a promising strategy against the negative health effects of accumulated emotional stress reactivity.
    Psychology of Sport and Exercise 04/2015; 20. DOI:10.1016/j.psychsport.2015.04.004 · 1.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Abnormalities in motor activity represent a central feature in major depressive disorder. However, measurement issues are poorly understood, limiting the use of objective measurement of motor activity for diagnostics and treatment monitoring. Methods: To improve measurement issues, especially sensor placement, analytic strategies and diurnal effects, we assessed motor activity in depressed patients at the beginning (MD; n=27) and after anti-depressive treatment (MD-post; n=18) as well as in healthy controls (HC; n=16) using wrist- and chest-worn accelerometers. We performed multiple analyses regarding sensor placements, extracted features, diurnal variation, motion patterns and posture to clarify which parameters are most powerful in distinguishing patients from controls and monitoring treatment effects. Results: Whereas most feature-placement combinations revealed significant differences between groups, acceleration (wrist) distinguished MD from HC (d=1.39) best. Frequency (vertical axis chest) additionally differentiated groups in a logistic regression model (R2=0.54). Accordingly, both amplitude (d=1.16) and frequency (d=1.04) showed alterations, indicating reduced and decelerated motor activity. Differences between MD and HC in gestures (d=0.97) and walking (d=1.53) were found by data analysis from the wrist sensor. Comparison of motor activity at the beginning and after MD-treatment largely confirms our findings. Limitations: Sample size was small, but sufficient for the given effect sizes. Comparison of depressed in-patients with non-hospitalized controls might have limited motor activity differences between groups. Conclusions: Measurement of wrist-acceleration can be recommended as a basic technique to capture motor activity in depressed patients as it records whole body movement and gestures. Detailed analyses showed differences in amplitude and frequency denoting that depressed patients walked less and slower.
    PLoS ONE 04/2015; 10(4):e0124231. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0124231 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous research suggests disturbed emotional learning and memory in borderline personality disorder (BPD). Studies investigating the neural correlates of aversive differential delay conditioning in BPD are currently lacking. We aimed to investigate acquisition, within-session extinction, between-session extinction recall, and reacquisition. We expected increased activation in the insula, amygdala, and anterior cingulate, and decreased prefrontal activation in BPD patients. During functional magnetic resonance imaging, 27 medication-free female BPD patients and 26 female healthy controls (HC) performed a differential delay aversive conditioning paradigm. An electric shock served as unconditioned stimulus, two neutral pictures as conditioned stimuli (CS+/CS-). Dependent variables were blood-oxygen-level-dependent response, skin conductance response (SCR), and subjective ratings (valence, arousal). No significant between-group differences in brain activation were found [all p(FDR) > 0.05]. Within-group comparisons for CS+unpaired > CS- revealed increased insula activity in BPD patients but not in HC during early acquisition; during late acquisition, both groups recruited fronto-parietal areas [p(FDR) < 0.05]. During extinction, BPD patients rated both CS+ and CS- as significantly more arousing and aversive than HC and activated the amygdala in response to CS+. In contrast, HC showed increased prefrontal activity in response to CS+ > CS during extinction. During extinction recall, there was a trend for stronger SCR to CS+ > CS in BPD patients. Amygdala habituation to CS+paired (CS+ in temporal contingency with the aversive event) during acquisition was found in HC but not in patients. Our findings suggest altered temporal response patterns in terms of increased vigilance already during early acquisition and delayed extinction processes in individuals with BPD.
    European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 03/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00406-015-0593-1 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although emotion dysregulation has consistently been conceptualized as a core problem of borderline personality disorder (BPD), a comprehensive, and empirically and ecologically validated model that captures the exact types of dysregulation remains absent. In the present article, we combine insights from basic affective science and the biosocial theory of BPD to present a theoretical model that captures the most fundamental affective dynamical processes that underlie BPD and stipulates that individuals with BPD are characterized by more negative affective homebases, higher levels of affective variability, and lower levels of attractor strength or return to baseline. Next, we empirically validate this proposal by statistically modeling data from three electronic diary studies on emotional responses to personally relevant stimuli in personally relevant environments that were collected both from patients with BPD (N = 50, 42, and 43) and from healthy subjects (N = 50, 24, and 28). The results regarding negative affective homebases and heightened affective variabilities consistently confirmed our hypotheses across all three datasets. The findings regarding attractor strengths (i.e., return to baseline) were less consistent and of smaller magnitude. The transdiagnostic nature of our approach may help to elucidate the common and distinctive mechanisms that underlie several different disorders that are characterized by affective dysregulation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
    Journal of Abnormal Psychology 01/2015; 124(1). DOI:10.1037/abn0000021 · 4.86 Impact Factor
  • C Skirrow · U Ebner-Priemer · I Reinhard · Y Malliaris · J Kuntsi · P Asherson
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Emotional lability (EL), characterized by negative emotional traits and emotional instability, is frequently reported in children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, EL is primarily assessed using retrospective self-report, which is subject to reporting bias and does not consider the potential influence of positive and negative everyday experiences. Method: Ambulatory assessment was carried out in 41 men with ADHD without co-morbidity, current medication or substance abuse, and 47 healthy control participants. Reports of negative and positive emotions (irritability, frustration, anger, happiness, excitement) and the occurrence of bad and good events were completed eight times daily during a working week. Group differences in emotional intensity and instability were investigated using multilevel models, and explored in relation to bad and good events and the Affective Lability Scale - Short Form (ALS-SF), an EL questionnaire. Results: The ADHD group reported significantly more frequent bad events, heightened intensity and instability of irritability and frustration, and greater intensity of anger. The results for positive emotions were equivocal or negative. Bad events significantly contributed to the intensity and instability of negative emotions, and showed a stronger influence in the ADHD group. However, covariation for their effect did not eliminate group differences. Small-to-moderate correlations were seen between intensity and instability of negative emotions and the ALS-SF. Conclusions: Adults with ADHD report heightened intensity and instability of negative emotions in daily life. The results suggest two components of EL in ADHD: a reactive component responsive to bad events and an endogenous component, independent of negative everyday events.
    Psychological Medicine 12/2014; 44(16):3571-83. DOI:10.1017/S0033291714001032 · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    Timothy J Trull · Ulrich Ebner-Priemer
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the current use and future promise of an innovative methodology, ambulatory assessment (AA), that can be used to investigate psychological, emotional, behavioral, and biological processes of individuals in their daily life. The term AA encompasses a wide range of methods used to study people in their natural environment, including momentary self-report, observational, and physiological. We emphasize applications of AA that integrate two or more of these methods, discuss the smart phone as a hub or access point for AA, and discuss future applications of AA methodology to the science of psychology. We pay particular attention to the development and application of Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs) that can be implemented with smart phones and wireless physiological monitoring devices, and we close by discussing future applications of this approach to matters relevant to psychological science.
    Current Directions in Psychological Science 12/2014; 23(6):466-470. DOI:10.1177/0963721414550706 · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    Mario Wenzel · Thomas Kubiak · Ulrich W. Ebner-Priemer
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    ABSTRACT: Ambulatory Assessment (AA) comprises the use of in-field methods to assess individuals’ behavior, physiology, and the experience as they unfold in naturalistic settings. We propose that AA is favorable for the investigation of gene–environment interactions and for the search for endophenotypes, being able to assess the experienced environment and to track basic regulatory processes, such as stress reactivity, affective instability, and reward experience, which are potential common factors that underlie psychiatric disorders.In this article, we (a) first describe briefly the rationale of AA and summarize the key advantages of the approach, (b) highlight within-subject regulatory processes, such as stress reactivity, affective instability, and reward experience, (c) describe studies that used AA to examine genetic influences in psychiatric disorders, and (d) briefly review longitudinal studies that have investigated phenotypes of psychiatric disorders.The reported studies yielded promising, although sometimes inconclusive evidence for genetic effects on endophenotypes of psychiatric disorders. Moreover, most studies were twin or family studies, especially in stress-sensitivity research; thus, it is unclear which specific single nucleotide polymorphisms contribute to the endophenotypes of psychiatric disorders. We do hope that within-subject regulatory processes will enable us to clarify the fundamental psychological dimensions that cut across traditional disorders and link them to their genetic underpinnings.
    Neuroscience Research 11/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.neures.2014.10.018 · 1.94 Impact Factor
  • Vera Zamoscik · Silke Huffziger · Ulrich Ebner-Priemer · Christine Kuehner · Peter Kirsch
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    ABSTRACT: Behavioral studies suggest a relationship between autobiographical memory, rumination, and depression. The objective of the current study was to determine whether remitted depressed patients show alterations in connectivity of the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC; a node in the default mode network) with the parahippocampal gyri (PHG; a region associated with autobiographical memory) while intensively recalling negative memories and whether this is related to daily life symptoms and to the further course of depression.Sad mood was induced with keywords of personal negative life events in participants with remitted depression (n=29) and matched healthy controls (n=29) during fMRI. Additionally, daily life assessments of mood and rumination and a six-months follow-up were conducted.Remitted depressed participants showed greater connectivity than healthy controls of the PCC with the PHG, which was even stronger in patients with more previous episodes. Furthermore, patients with increased PCC-PHG connectivity showed a sadder mood and more rumination in daily life, and a worsening of rumination and depression scores during follow-up.A relationship of negative autobiographical memory processing, rumination, sad mood, and depression on a neural level seems likely. The identified increased connectivity probably indicates a 'scar' of recurrent depression and may represent a prognostic factor for future depression.
    Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 02/2014; 9(12). DOI:10.1093/scan/nsu006 · 7.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Affective instability is a core feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD). The use of advanced assessment methodologies and appropriate statistical analyses has led to consistent findings that indicate a heightened instability in patients with BPD compared with healthy controls. However, few studies have investigated the specificity of affective instability among patients with BPD with regard to relevant clinical control groups. In this study, 43 patients with BPD, 28 patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 20 patients with bulimia nervosa (BN), and 28 healthy controls carried e-diaries for 24 hours and were prompted to rate their momentary affective states approximately every 15 minutes while awake. To quantify instability, we used 3 state-of-the-art indices: multilevel models for squared successive differences (SSDs), multilevel models for probability of acute changes (PACs), and aggregated point-by-point changes (APPCs). Patients with BPD displayed heightened affective instability for emotional valence and distress compared with healthy controls, regardless of the specific instability indices. These results directly replicate earlier studies. However, affective instability did not seem to be specific to patients with BPD. With regard to SSDs, PACs, and APPCs, patients with PTSD or BN showed a similar heightened instability of affect (emotional valence and distress) to that of patients with BPD. Our results give raise to the discussion if affective instability is a transdiagnostic or a disorder-specific mechanism. Current evidence cannot answer this question, but investigating psychopathological mechanisms in everyday life across disorders is a promising approach to enhance validity and specificity of mental health diagnoses. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    Journal of Abnormal Psychology 02/2014; 123(1):258-72. DOI:10.1037/a0035619 · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    Wolfgang Schlicht · Ulrich W Ebner-Priemer · Martina Kanning
    Frontiers in Psychology 12/2013; 4:916. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00916 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: [This corrects the article on p. e69674 in vol. 8.].
    PLoS ONE 10/2013; 8(10). DOI:10.1371/annotation/151a76cd-3bd7-457d-84eb-9b2e2fce3dff · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Increased intra-subject variability of reaction times (ISV-RT) is one of the most consistent findings in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Although the nature of this phenomenon is still unclear, it has been hypothesised to reflect interference from the Default Mode Network (DMN). So far, ISV-RT has been operationally defined either as a frequency spectrum of the underlying RT time series, or as a measure of dispersion of the RT scores distribution. Here, we use a novel RT analysis framework to link these hitherto unconnected facets of ISV-RT by determining the sensitivity of different measures of RT dispersion to the frequency content of the underlying RT time series. N=27 patients with ADHD and N=26 healthy controls performed several visual N-back tasks. Different measures of RT dispersion were repeatedly modelled after individual frequency bands of the underlying RT time series had been either extracted or suppressed using frequency-domain filtering. We found that the intra-subject standard deviation of RT preserves the "1/f noise" characteristic typical of human RT data. Furthermore and most importantly, we found that the ex-Gaussian parameter τ is rather exclusively sensitive to frequencies below 0.025 Hz in the underlying RT time series and that the particularly slow RTs, which nourish τ, occur regularly as part of an quasi-periodic, ultra-slow RT fluctuation. Overall, our results are compatible with the idea that ISV-RT is modulated by an endogenous, slowly fluctuating process that may reflect DMN interference.
    PLoS ONE 10/2013; 8(10):e69674. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0069674 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Die Symptomatik einer Depression ist durch reduzierte emotionale Schwingungsfähigkeit, negative Kognitionen, sozialen Rückzug und negatives Selbstwerterleben charakterisiert. Es wird eine erhöhte Reaktivität auf negative Stimuli (negative potentiation) bzw. eine reduzierte Sensitivität auf den emotionalen Kontext (emotion context insensitivity) angenommen (z.B. Peeters et al., 2010). Ziel dieser Studie ist die Untersuchung der Stabilität bzw. Instabilität von Affekt und Selbstwerterleben bei Depression mittels Ambulantes Assessment im Kontext der stationären psychotherapeutischen Behandlung. Geplant ist die Rekrutierung von 50 Patientinnen der Schön-Klinik Roseneck (Prien am Chiemsee) mit mindestens mittelgradiger depressiver Episode (ICD-10 F32.1/.2 bzw. F33.1/.2), welche über einen viertägigen Zeitraum mit elektronischen Tagebüchern ausge-stattet werden. Dabei werden mehrfach täglich in Alltagssituationen das Selbstwerterleben mit einer Kurzform der Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale (SES) und die momentane Stimmung mit einer Kurzform des Mehrdimensionalen Befindlichkeitsfragebogens (MDBF) erfasst. Als Vergleichsgruppen dienen bereits vorliegende Daten von 46 Patientinnen mit Borderline-Persönlichkeitsstörung (ZI Mannheim) und 57 gesunden Kontrollen (KIT Karlsruhe). Es werden das laufende Projekt und erste Ergebnisse vorgestellt. Ambulantes Assessment bieten wesentliche Vorteile gegenüber möglicherweise bei der Un-tersuchung von Depressionen besonders relevanten Verzerrungen retrospektiver Selbstein-schätzungen (Ebner-Priemer & Trull, 2009; 2013). Neben der Untersuchung zentraler auf-rechterhaltender Faktoren der Depression erlaubt die vorliegende Studie die Erprobung von Ambulantem Assessment unter stationären Routinebedingungen.
    "Verhaltensmedizin: State of the Art - Von der Forschung zur Praxis" 14. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Verhaltensmedizin und Verhaltensmodifikation, Prien am Chiemsee; 09/2013
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    ABSTRACT: Intrusions and flashbacks are core features of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The frequency of these symptoms is usually assessed through retrospective questionnaires, which may be subject to recall bias of unknown magnitude. Electronic diaries that enable real-time assessment have been used to address recall biases in several psychiatric disorders. However, to our knowledge, this is the first study to apply this method to assess intrusions and flashbacks in PTSD related to childhood sexual abuse (CSA). Female patients with PTSD related to CSA (n = 28) were provided with electronic diaries for repeated real-time assessment of intrusions and flashbacks over the period of 1 week. At the end of this period, they were asked to retrospectively report how many such symptoms they recalled having experienced over the past week. The total number of symptoms reported in the electronic diaries (74.5 ± 62.0 intrusions and 24.4 ± 36.0 flashbacks for the week) was substantially higher than those reported in previous studies. Furthermore, electronic diaries revealed the occurrence of about 50% more intrusions and flashbacks than did the retrospective assessment (74.5 vs. 49.5 for intrusions, and 24.4 vs. 13.4 for flashbacks). Such high frequencies are not captured with existing assessment instruments and suggest a possible ceiling effect. Future research needs to clarify whether these high numbers are specific to highly symptomatic PTSD patients or might generalize to other populations of PTSD patients. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
    Psychological Assessment 07/2013; 25(4). DOI:10.1037/a0033816 · 2.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The influence of naturally occurring emotional and cognitive experiences on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPAA) activity is still underinvestigated, particularly in clinical populations. The present study examined effects of mood and rumination on cortisol levels in daily life in remitted depressed patients with recurrent episodes or a chronic precourse (n=31) and healthy controls (n=32). Ambulatory assessment of subjective variables (valence, calmness, energetic-arousal, ruminative self-focus), daily stressors, and saliva cortisol samples was performed five times a day on two consecutive workdays, whereby cortisol was collected 20min after the subjective assessments. In addition, depressive symptoms and trait rumination (brooding, reflection) were measured retrospectively. Multilevel models revealed that remitted depressed patients showed lower cortisol activity compared to healthy controls. Depressive symptoms and trait rumination did not predict HPAA activity, whereas, by controlling for daily stressors, higher daily means of ruminative self-focus and lower daily means of valence, energetic arousal and calmness were associated with higher daily cortisol levels. Separate analyses per group revealed that mean daily ruminative self-focus predicted higher cortisol in both samples. In contrast, lower daily means of calmness, but also of valence and energetic arousal, were significantly linked to higher cortisol output only in healthy controls, but not in the patient sample. These findings indicate that naturally occurring rumination and low mood are associated with increased activation of the HPAA in daily life. Moreover, our data revealed a potentially reduced mood-cortisol coupling in remitted recurrent depression, possibly indicating that during the course of recurrent depression HPAA activation might become less responsive toward subtle emotional experiences in natural contexts.
    Psychoneuroendocrinology 05/2013; 38(10):2258-2267. DOI:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2013.04.014 · 4.94 Impact Factor
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    Martina K Kanning · Ulrich W Ebner-Priemer · Wolfgang Michael Schlicht
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    ABSTRACT: Several meta-analyses have investigated the association between physical activity and affective states and have found evidence suggesting that exercise exerts a positive effect on affective state. However, in this field of research, most studies have conducted between-subject analyses. Nonetheless, there is more and more interest in the within-subject associations between physical activity and momentary affective states in everyday life. This position statement pertains to this up-and-coming field of research and provides methodological recommendations for further studies. The paper is divided into three parts: First, we summarise and evaluate three methodological requirements necessary for the proper evaluation of within-subject associations between physical activity and momentary affective states in everyday life. We propose that the following issues should be considered: a) to address the dynamic nature of such relationships, repeated assessments are necessary; b) as activities performed in everyday life are mostly spontaneous and unconscious, an objective assessment of physical activity is useful; c) given that recall of affective states is often affected by systematic distortions, real-time assessment is preferable. In sum, we suggest the use of ambulatory assessment techniques, and more specifically the combination of acceloremeter-assessment of physical activity with an electronic diary assessment of the momentary affective state and additional context information. Second, we summarise 22 empirical studies published between 1980 and 2012 using ambulatory assessment to investigate within-subject associations between momentary affective states and physical activity in everyday life. Generally, the literature overview detects a positive association, which appears stronger among those studies that were of high methodological quality. Third, we propose the use of ambulatory assessment intervention strategies to change people's behaviour (ambulatory assessment int
    Frontiers in Psychology 04/2013; 4:187. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00187 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Regularly conducted exercise programs effectively influence affective states. Studies suggest that this is also true for short bouts of physical activity (PA) of 10 min or less. Accordingly, everyday life activities of short duration might be used to regulate affective states. However, this association has rarely been studied in reference to unstructured activities in ongoing real-life situations. The current study examined the influence of various everyday life activities on three dimensions of mood (valence, calmness, energetic arousal) in a predominantly inactive sample. Ambulatory Assessment (AA) was used to investigate the association between actual PA and affective states during the course of 1 day. Seventy-seven students ages 19-30 participated in the study. PA was assessed with accelerometers, and affective state assessments were conducted hourly using an e-diary with a six-item mood scale that was specially designed for AA. Multilevel analyses indicated that the mood dimensions energetic arousal (p = 0.001) and valence (p = 0.005) were positively influenced by the intensity of the activity carried out in the 10-min prior to the assessment. As their activity increased, the participants' positive feelings and energetic arousal increased. However, the students' calmness was not affected by their activity levels. The findings highlight the importance of integrating short activity intervals of 10 min or less into everyday life routines to improve affective states.
    Frontiers in Psychology 04/2013; 4:102. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00102 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Rumination has been proposed as a risk factor for depression, while mindful attention might be protective. Differential effects of these attention foci have so far only been examined in the laboratory. Therefore, we conducted an experimental ambulatory assessment study using ruminative and mindful attention inductions in everyday life to examine their effects in a natural context. METHODS: Fifty young adults carried palmtops over three weekdays (rumination induction day, mindful attention induction day, noninduction day; randomized cross-over design). Ten times a day, participants rated ruminative self-focus and mood. On the induction days, they were additionally subjected to 3-min inductions of ruminative or mindful attention at each assessment. RESULTS: The two induction modes exhibited differential immediate effects on ruminative self-focus and mood. While induced rumination immediately deteriorated valence and calmness, induced mindful attention specifically enhanced calmness. Depressive symptoms did not moderate these effects. While overall longer term effects of the inductions were missing, the mindful attention day was associated with slightly increasing positive valence over the day. LIMITATIONS: The results need to be replicated in high-risk and patient samples to demonstrate the clinical significance of identified effects. CONCLUSIONS: Results confirm the emotional relevance of rumination and mindful attention in real world settings. Future work may test whether adaptive attention-focusing instructions delivered in daily life can support clinical interventions.
    Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry 02/2013; 44(3):322-328. DOI:10.1016/j.jbtep.2013.01.007 · 2.23 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
178.40 Total Impact Points


  • 2015
    • Ghent University
      Gand, Flanders, Belgium
  • 2009–2015
    • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
      • Institute of Sports Science
      Carlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
    • Universitätsklinikum Jena
      Jena, Thuringia, Germany
  • 2013
    • Universität Stuttgart
      • Institute of Sports Science
      Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2005–2013
    • Central Institute of Mental Health
      • Klinik für Abhängiges Verhalten und Suchtmedizin
      Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2009–2010
    • Universität Heidelberg
      • • Clinic for Psychosomatics and Psychotherapeutic Medicine
      • • Central Institute of Mental Health
      Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany