Danielle Arigo

Danielle Arigo
Rowan University · Department of Psychology

Ph.D., Clinical Psychology (Health emphasis)

About

78
Publications
17,967
Reads
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1,431
Citations
Introduction
My research applies advances in social theory to health populations and conditions (e.g., social comparisons among individuals with medical and psychiatric conditions). I am most interested in how social comparisons can guide health behaviors relevant to eating and physical activity, and how beneficial comparisons can be facilitated using online social networking platforms. For example, optimizing digital health tools/programs by incorporating beneficial social processes via online networking.
Additional affiliations
September 2012 - July 2014
Drexel University
Position
  • Research Associate

Publications

Publications (78)
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Automated physical activity (PA) monitoring technology and associated social networks have potential to address barriers to PA, but have rarely been tested for PA promotion. This technology may be especially beneficial for women, who experience particular barriers to health-based social networking. The present study tested the feasibili...
Article
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Social comparisons (i.e., self-evaluations relative to others) may affect motivation for diabetes self-care behaviours. Comparisons can have either positive or negative effects, but it is not clear what differentiates these responses. This study tested the effect of a patient's perceived similarity to a comparison target on motivation for self-care...
Article
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This pilot study tested a novel program to promote adoption and maintenance of aerobic activity in midlife women. Lifestyle modification group sessions were held weekly for 3 months, followed by two booster sessions during the 3-month maintenance phase. During all 6 months of the program, participants used a physical activity sensor to automate sel...
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Overweight and obesity are growing problems for primary care. Although effective weight management programs exist, these programs experience significant attrition, which limits effectiveness. This study examined provider and staff perceptions of attrition from the Veterans Health Administration MOVE!® Weight Management Program as an initial step to...
Article
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Body dissatisfaction and disordered eating behaviors are common among college women, yet only a subset of this population develops clinically significant disordered eating symptoms during college. Appearance-based social comparisons, particularly those made to others with "better" bodies (i.e., upward appearance comparisons), have demonstrated conc...
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The current set of within-subject, single-case design studies examined how exposure to social comparison information may impact physical activity in sedentary individuals. In Study 1, participants (N = 6) were exposed to two Fitbit challenges, one with a physically active confederate and another with a sedentary confederate. Each challenge phase la...
Article
Background Risk for cardiovascular disease is particularly high among women in midlife (ages 40–60). Moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity (PA) can protect against risk during this time, and research is needed to understand contributors to PA motivation and behavior in daily life. Purpose This study used ecological momentary assessment...
Article
Background Digital tools may help to address social deficits in schizophrenia, particularly those that engage social comparison processes (ie, evaluating oneself relative to others). Yet, little is known about social comparison processes in schizophrenia or how best to capture between- versus within-person variability, which is critical to engaging...
Article
Objectives: To estimate the extent of reactivity to measurement of physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior among women in midlife with elevated risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Design: Secondary analysis of a 10-day observational study of PA and sedentary behavior. Main outcome measures: PA (steps, minutes of light PA, total minute...
Article
Engaging in moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) is important for protecting cardiovascular health among women in midlife (i.e., ages 40–60), particularly if they have already developed conditions that increase their risk for cardiovascular disease (e.g., hypertension). Although the gap between MVPA intentions and behavior is wel...
Article
Objective: To examine the pain experiences of women in midlife with existing health conditions, including changes from prior to the COVID-19 pandemic through the first 6 months of the crisis. Design: Women ages 40-60 with health conditions (e.g., hypertension; N = 35, MBMI = 32.2 kg/m2) were prompted to complete 5 surveys per day for 5 days at 3...
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Women in midlife (ages 40–60) show decreases in physical activity (PA) that exacerbate risk for cardiovascular disease. Social comparisons (i.e., self-evaluations relative to others) are known to influence PA in other groups, but their association in this population is unknown. The present study used ecological momentary assessment to examine this...
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Background: Ample evidence indicates that everyday perceptions of the social environment can affect health behaviors; these include social comparisons (i.e., self-evaluations compared to others) and positive versus negative social interactions. However, relations between social perceptions and healthy behaviors have received little attention among...
Preprint
Women in midlife experience health risks that could be mitigated by regular physical activity (PA), but rarely achieve PA levels that can protect their health. As a result, many behavioral interventions are designed to promote PA in this population, though their efficacy and effectiveness appear to be limited. It is not clear which theoretical mode...
Article
Objective To examine distinct types of social comparisons (i.e. self-evaluations relative to others) in behavioural weight loss groups and their relations with weight loss maintenance. Design Participants (N = 127, MBMI = 35.66 kg/m²) reported on their comparisons at mid-treatment (6 months), including identification of their primary individual co...
Article
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death among women. During midlife (ages 40–60), universal aging processes, sex-specific factors such as menopause, psychological distress, and conditions such as hypertension substantially increase women’s risk for CVD. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted employment, social inter...
Article
Introduction: Body comparisons have been implicated in body dissatisfaction and eating disorder development. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) has been used to capture body comparisons in everyday life; however, the potential for measurement reactivity this approach has on EMA responses has yet to be examined. The present study systematically e...
Article
Rationale Change in BMI is recognized as a key health indicator among midlife and older adults, though predictors of BMI change in this group have received little attention. Objective The aim of this study was to examine relations between hypothesized predictors (i.e., gender, cardiovascular disease [CVD] risk status, depressive symptoms, social s...
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The popular #fitspiration trend on Instagram and other social media platforms is intended to inspire healthy living (particularly exercise engagement), though several studies have documented the negative effects of fitspiration-style posts on women's body satisfaction and mood. Pairing fitspiration images with text focused on self-compassion shows...
Preprint
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This paper focuses on building personalized player models solely from player behavior in the context of adaptive games. We present two main contributions: The first is a novel approach to player modeling based on multi-armed bandits (MABs). This approach addresses, at the same time and in a principled way, both the problem of collecting data to mod...
Article
Despite the large amounts of research currently being conducted and the high number of editorials warning about the potential mental health impacts, there is a stunning lack of mental health data on the effects of the pandemic. Yet, the pandemic may have sizable impacts on psychological distress and health behaviors —these effects may be long-lasti...
Preprint
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Social comparison-based features are widely used in social computing apps. However, most existing apps are not grounded in social comparison theories and do not consider individual differences in social comparison preferences and reactions. This paper is among the first to automatically personalize social comparison targets. In the context of an m-...
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Women perform less physical activity (PA) than men, and this gap widens during college. This study examined college women’s daily PA intentions and behavior, and whether social support or social comparison orientation (SCO) moderated the PA intention-behavior relation. College women (N = 80) completed measures of social support and SCO at baseline....
Preprint
BACKGROUND Information shared via social media influences college students’ self- perceptions and behavior, particularly fitspiration posts (i.e., images of healthy food, people exercising, or fitness quotations). Mixed findings currently exist regarding the mental health implications of fitspiration and its potential to motivate healthy behavior....
Article
Expressive writing (EW) is a structured writing technique that encourages the expression or disclosure of one's deepest thoughts and feelings about stressful or traumatic events. EW has been shown to improve health, both psychological and physical functioning, although benefits are not universal. In this chapter we review EW research, focusing on e...
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Background Midlife women are at an elevated risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and associated mortality. Those who have additional risk conditions such as obesity or hypertension report specific barriers to engaging in cardioprotective behaviors such as physical activity (PA). Considerable effort has been devoted to understanding PA determinants...
Article
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Although mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) can improve health and well-being, less is known about factors that predict outcomes. This prospective observational study examined gender and baseline anxiety and sleep quality as predictors of change in emotion regulation and stress symptoms following an 8-week MBSR program. Women and men reporte...
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Upward body comparisons are prevalent among college women and associated with body dissatisfaction and disordered eating. However, less is known about distinguishing features of the comparisons themselves as they occur in daily life. The primary purpose of the present study was to examine whether two types of upward body comparisons previously stud...
Article
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Digital health promises to increase intervention reach and effectiveness for a range of behavioral health outcomes. Behavioral scientists have a unique opportunity to infuse their expertise in all phases of a digital health intervention, from design to implementation. The aim of this study was to assess behavioral scientists’ interests and needs wi...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Midlife women are at an elevated risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and associated mortality. Those who have additional risk conditions such as obesity or hypertension report specific barriers to engaging in cardioprotective behaviors such as physical activity (PA). Considerable effort has been devoted to understanding PA determinants...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Midlife women experience elevated risk for cardiovascular disease and often receive advice to increase physical activity to mitigate this risk. Use of accelerometers to measure ambulatory physical activity requires selection of appropriate thresholds for estimating moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and choice of cut points...
Article
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Self-evaluations relative to others (i.e., social comparisons) have well-established implications for health and well-being, and are typically assessed via global, retrospective self-report. Yet, comparison is inherently a dynamic, within-person process; comparisons occur at different times, on a range of dimensions, with consequences that can vary...
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This study examined primary care patients’ experiences with support for weight loss efforts. Adult patients (N = 106) were recruited through primary care clinics and completed an electronic survey pertaining to their weight loss efforts. The majority (76%) received support from their existing social network (e.g., family members, professionals); 59...
Article
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#fitspiration is a popular social media trend for sharing fitness-related content. To date, however, it is not clear how best to harness the power of this trend to improve users’ health, including how best to tailor its content. In this study, a cross-sectional survey assessed intentions and perceptions of users who host fitspiration accounts on In...
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Background: Smartphone apps promoting physical activity (PA) are abundant, but few produce substantial and sustained behavior change. Although many PA apps purport to induce users to compare themselves with others (by invoking social comparison processes), improvements in PA and other health behaviors are inconsistent. Existing literature suggests...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Smartphone apps promoting physical activity (PA) are abundant, but few produce substantial and sustained behavior change. Although many PA apps purport to induce users to compare themselves with others (by invoking social comparison processes), improvements in PA and other health behaviors are inconsistent. Existing literature suggests t...
Article
Objectives There is a need to develop more effective physical activity (PA) promotion programs for college women. Theory and evidence suggest that perceptions of the social environment play a role in college women’s PA, though little is known about how these perceptions are associated with PA at the day level. The goal of this study was to examine...
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Since its earliest days, the field of behavioral medicine has leveraged technology to increase the reach and effectiveness of its interventions. Here, we highlight key areas of opportunity and recommend next steps to further advance intervention development, evaluation, and commercialization with a focus on three technologies: mobile applications (...
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Peer support is increasingly recognized as consistent with the goals of integrated primary care and is being implemented in primary care settings as a patient-centered approach that increases patient activation and access to care. Within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), peer support specialists (PSSs) have traditionally worked in specialty...
Article
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Smartphone apps that support health behavior change efforts often provide opportunities for users to compare their behaviors and progress to that of other users (i.e., social comparison). At present, however, available literature on features of these apps has two main limitations: (I) it shows little consistency in its application of the term socia...
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Objective: Frequent self-weighing is recommended in weight loss interventions and may prevent weight gain. However, concerns regarding the associations between self-weighing and eating disorders have been expressed and the relations between self-weighing and weight gain/eating pathology have not been examined prospectively. We tested whether (a) f...
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Maintenance of weight loss after behavioral intervention tends to be poor, and there is need for an improved understanding of factors that are associated with successful maintenance. Social comparison is known to be a powerful influence on treatment outcomes for group-based behavioral weight loss programs, but little is known about the role of indi...
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As the popularity and diversity of social media platforms increases so does their utility for health research. Using social media for recruitment into clinical studies and/or delivering health behavior interventions may increase reach to a broader audience. However, evidence supporting the efficacy of these approaches is limited, and key questions...
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The present study tested hypothesized mechanisms underlying the effects of two selective prevention interventions targeting both obesity and eating disorders (Healthy Weight and the newly developed Project Health), relative to video control. Tests examined mediation for the significant weight gain prevention and eating disorder symptom prevention e...
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Objective: To examine food decision-making priorities for restaurant-type foods at grocery stores and determine whether adding calorie information, as required by federal menu labeling laws, affected decision-making priorities. Design: Natural experiment: intervention and control groups with baseline and follow-up. Setting: Regional grocery st...
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Objective: To examine reasons for selecting a social comparison target (i.e. a specific other for relative self-evaluation), and their influence on affect and motivation for self-care, in type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Design: Adults with T2DM (n = 180, MA1c = 7.6%) chose to read about one of four targets. Participants rated five reasons for their choice...
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Objective: Postmenopausal women cite lack of time as their primary barrier to exercise and related weight control behaviors. The purpose of this study was to address this barrier via testing the feasibility and initial outcomes of a short-duration/high-intensity interval training (HIIT)-based weight loss program among obese postmenopausal women, w...
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Many women fail to meet recommended levels of physical activity (PA). Limited research has examined women’s barriers to PA adoption during attempts to increase PA – in particular, how often they experience PA lapses (i.e., failure to meet PA goals), their cognitive-affective responses to lapses, and the role of social support in preventing or respo...
Article
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Establishing healthy habits in college is important for long-term health. Despite existing health promotion efforts, many college students fail to meet recommendations for behaviors such as healthy eating and exercise, which may be due to low perceived risk for health problems. The goals of this study were to examine: (1) the accuracy of life expec...
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This study examined reported post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in adults with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes who had no history of psychiatric diagnosis or treatment (n = 184, MHbA1c = 9.13%, standard deviation = 1.68). Participants reported moderate to severe intensity of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms (M = 19.17, SD = 17.58). To...
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Background: Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is critical for maintaining a healthy weight, although little is known about psychological barriers to maintaining MVPA in at-risk groups. Identifying characteristics associated with poor MVPA maintenance in obesity prevention programs could improve participant outcomes. Methods: Toward t...
Article
Expressive writing, or written emotional disclosure, is a brief writing activity that encourages the expression of one's deepest thoughts and feelings about a personally important or stressful experience. Participants who write in this way, relative to those who write about emotionally neutral topics, often show meaningful improvements in physical...
Article
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Little is known about social influences on long-term rehabilitation outcomes for traumatic brain injury, particularly social comparisons (i.e. self-evaluations relative to others). Patients in long-term rehabilitation (n = 31) completed assessments at baseline and 1 year. Self-reported social comparison orientation was comparable to existing sample...
Article
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The transition to college is difficult for many students, and there is a need for improved understanding of experiences that may identify those at risk for negative mental and physical health outcomes. College women are particularly responsive to the social environment, though little is known about processes other than social support. This study in...
Article
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Behavioral interventions for obesity reliably facilitate short-term weight loss, but weight regain is normative. A high level of aerobic exercise may promote weight loss maintenance. However, adopting and maintaining a high level of exercise is challenging, and experiential acceptance may be important. The aim of this study was to pilot test the fe...
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Background Engaging in regular physical activity (PA) is critical for health, and adopting a consistent PA routine early in life is associated with greater PA over the lifespan. College women with weight concerns are at risk for weight gain, which may be prevented with regular PA. However, little is known about changes in PA engagement in this at-r...
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Objective: The subjective feeling of loss of control (LOC) over eating is common among eating-disordered individuals and has predicted weight gain in past research. Restrained eating and negative affect are risk factors for binge eating (which involves LOC), but intense feelings of pleasure derived from palatable foods might also predict the emerg...
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The Veterans Health Administration’s MOVE! Program is the largest health care-delivered weight loss intervention in the United States. As a referring clinician’s perceptions and knowledge of health programs may impact implementation, examining perceptions of MOVE! may inform improvements to this and other programs. This study investigated primary c...
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Background: Elevated body mass index (BMI), higher waist-to-hip ratio, and body dissatisfaction have been investigated as risk factors for the development of bulimic symptoms. Central fat deposition may be particularly relevant to eating disorders. To our knowledge, the longitudinal relations among fat distribution, body dissatisfaction, and loss-...
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Inconsistent attendance and participant withdrawal limit the effectiveness of weight control programs, but little is known about predictors of initial and ongoing engagement. The purpose of this study was to identify these predictors with respect to the Veterans Affairs MOVE!® program, using medical record data. Logistic regression models were used...
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Wearable physical activity (PA) tracking technology, which has the capacity to connect users’ PA data to online social networks, could address the need for cost-effective, scalable PA programs for women. It is not yet clear how to use wearable devices to maximize the effectiveness of evidence-based PA promotion techniques. There also is need to exa...
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Background: Physical activity (PA) is essential for health, but many adults find PA adherence challenging. Acceptance of discomfort related to PA may influence an individual's ability to begin and sustain a program of exercise. The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Physical Activity Acceptance Questionnaire (PAAQ...
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OBJECTIVE Individuals with type 2 diabetes and depressive symptoms have poorer diabetes outcomes than those with diabetes alone, and there is need for improved understanding of the relationship between illness markers and depressive symptoms. The role of social support is well established; less is known about social comparisons (i.e. comparisons to...
Article
Objective: Breast cancer survivors report adverse sexual effects (sexual morbidity) such as disrupted sexual function, sexual distress and body dissatisfaction. However, most studies have failed to evaluate the persistence of these effects in long-term survivors. The present study comprehensively assessed the prevalence and predictors of sexual/bo...
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This investigation assessed the efficacy of a technique specifically designed to change the style and content of presleep thoughts in order to reduce nighttime cognitive arousal and decrease insomnia severity. This investigation, termed "cognitive refocusing treatment for insomnia" (CRT-I), previously improved sleep in a small sample of veterans wi...