Sheila E Crowell

Sheila E Crowell
University of Utah | UOU · Department of Psychology

University of Washington

About

115
Publications
98,964
Reads
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3,835
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2016 - present
University of Utah
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 2010 - July 2016
University of Utah
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
September 2002 - December 2009
University of Washington Seattle
Position
  • Research Assistant
Education
October 2002 - December 2009
University of Washington Seattle
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (115)
Article
Full-text available
High sensitivity and reactivity to behaviors of family members characterize several forms of psychopathology, including self-inflicted injury (SII). We examined mother-daughter behavioral and psychophysiological reactivity during a conflict discussion using nonlinear dynamics to assess asymmetrical associations within time-series data. Depressed, S...
Article
Full-text available
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a complex psychiatric diagnosis characterized by dysregulated behaviors, emotions, cognitions, and interpersonal relationships. In recent years, developmental psychopathologists have sought to identify early origins of BPD, with the ultimate goal of developing and providing effective preventative interventio...
Article
Full-text available
Self-inflicted injury (SII) is a continuum of intentionally self-destructive behaviors, including nonsuicidal self-injuries, suicide attempts, and death by suicide. These behaviors are among the most pressing yet perplexing clinical problems, affecting males and females of every race, ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic status, and nearly every age....
Article
Full-text available
Over the past 2 decades there has been a dramatic shift in understanding of personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder (BPD). What was historically viewed as an entrenched pattern of antagonistic, interpersonally dependent, and uncorrectable conduct is now seen as the outcome of complex—yet modifiable—developmental processes. Th...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past several decades, research has focused increasingly on developmental precursors to psychological disorders that were previously assumed to emerge only in adulthood. This change in focus follows from the recognition that complex transactions between biological vulnerabilities and psychosocial risk factors shape emotional and behavioral...
Article
Background: Mood disorders are associated with neurobiological disruptions in subliminal and supraliminal emotion processing. There may be additional variation based on sex and the presence of self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (SITBs). Examining individuals in remission allows us to understand trait-like emotion processing characteristics that...
Article
Introduction Pre-sleep arousal contributes to over 50% of pregnant people experiencing poor sleep quality and clinical insomnia. Given that poor sleep during pregnancy is associated with depression and suicide ideation, there is a critical need to identify intervention targets, such as difficulties with emotion regulation. However, emotion dysregul...
Article
This study tested whether newborn attention and arousal provide a foundation for the dynamics of respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) in mother–infant dyads. Participants were 106 mothers (Mage = 29.54) and their 7‐month‐old infants (55 males and 58 White and non‐Hispanic). Newborn attention and arousal were measured shortly after birth using the NIC...
Article
Full-text available
Strategies to link impulsivity and self-injurious behaviors (SIBs) show highly variable results, and may differ depending on the impulsivity measure used. To better understand this lack of consistency, we investigated correlations between self-report and behavioral impulsivity, inhibitory control, SIBs, and rumination. We included participants aged...
Article
Suicide accounts for >800,000 deaths annually worldwide; prevention is an urgent public health issue. Identification of risk factors remains challenging due to complexity and heterogeneity. The study of suicide deaths with increased extended familial risk provides an avenue to reduce etiological heterogeneity and explore traits associated with incr...
Article
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The impact of COVID-19-related stress on perinatal women is of heightened public health concern given the established intergenerational impact of maternal stress-exposure on infants and fetuses. There is urgent need to characterize the coping styles associated with adverse psychosocial outcomes in perinatal women during the COVID-19 pandemic to hel...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted research activities globally. Researchers need safe and creative procedures to resume data collection, particularly for projects evaluating infant mental health interventions. Remote research is uniquely challenging for psychophysiological data collection, which typically requires close contact betw...
Article
Pregnant women struggling with emotion dysregulation may be more likely to engage in a wide range of health risk behaviors. This protocol describes a study on intergenerational transmission of emotion dysregulation from the third trimester of pregnancy to 18 months postpartum. Biobehavioral markers of emotion dysregulation are typically measured in...
Article
In 2010, the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) were developed to advance our understanding of the pathophysiology of mental illness across multiple levels of analysis, ranging from cells to circuits to self-report instruments. Several conceptual RDoC-informed manuscripts have highlighted the importance of studying how developmental processes give ris...
Chapter
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a principle-based third-wave cognitive-behavioral therapy. It is an empirically supported psychological intervention that is effective for a range of psychiatric diagnoses and clinical problems. In particular, DBT is helpful for patients who struggle with dysregulated emotions, behaviors, attention, and/or inte...
Article
Suicide is a persistent issue in the United States and across the globe. A large body of published research finds that PTSD increases risk for suicidal ideation, suicidal behaviors, and death by suicide. However, the existing literature examining why that association might pertain is widely dispersed across disciplines (i.e., psychology, nursing, e...
Article
Full-text available
Bipolar disorder (BP) suicide death rates are 10–30 times greater than the general population, likely arising from environmental and genetic risk factors. Though suicidal behavior in BP has been investigated, studies have not addressed combined clinical and genetic factors specific to suicide death. To address this gap, a large, harmonized BP cohor...
Article
Background: Paternal stress is often assessed by maternal report and is posited to influence infant development indirectly by contributing to a mother’s stress and experiences during pregnancy. Far less is known about how direct effects of prenatal paternal stress, as described by fathers themselves, are related to an infant’s physiological functio...
Article
Newborn neurobehavioral competencies portend a young child's abilities to modulate their arousal and attention in response to dynamic environmental cues. Although evidence suggests prenatal contributions to newborn neurobehavioral differences, no study to date has examined wellness‐promoting traits, such as a pregnant woman's mindfulness, in this a...
Article
Emotional concordance refers to dynamic coordination of two or more components of the emotion system in response to environmental demands. Concordance can occur within a person (e.g., sympathetic arousal with a fearful expression) and between persons (e.g., similar emotional expressions in couples). This introduction to the 2021 special issue exami...
Article
Full-text available
Ethical and consensual digital phenotyping through smartphone activity (i. e., passive behavior monitoring) permits measurement of temporal risk trajectories unlike ever before. This data collection modality may be particularly well-suited for capturing emotion dysregulation, a transdiagnostic risk factor for psychopathology, across lifespan transi...
Article
There is limited understanding of factors across the lifespan that influence pregnant women's respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), which could have implications for their health and offspring development. We examined associations among 162 English‐ and Spanish‐speaking pregnant women's childhood maltreatment history, emotion dysregulation, recent li...
Article
Full-text available
We examined whether Research Domain Criteria (RDoC)-informed measures of prenatal stress predicted newborn neurobehavior and whether these effects differed by newborn sex. Multilevel, prenatal markers of prenatal stress were obtained from 162 pregnant women. Markers of the Negative Valence System included physiological functioning (respiratory sinu...
Article
Full-text available
During pregnancy, a woman’s emotions can have longstanding implications for both her own and her child’s health. Within-person emotional concordance refers to the simultaneous measurement of emotional responses across multiple levels of analysis. This method may provide insight into how pregnant women experience emotions in response to stress. We e...
Article
Objective The purpose of this study was to provide a more comprehensive look into the demographics of the veteran student subpopulation while exploring the relationship between the mental health of student veterans and their academic performance. Methods: A nationwide anonymous survey was distributed to student veterans who were enrolled in postsec...
Article
The development of personality pathology is an interactive process between biologically-based susceptibilities, interpersonal patterns, and contextual factors across the lifespan. In this paper, we argue that these interactions begin before birth. We describe the perinatal period (i.e., pregnancy and up to one year postpartum) as a sensitive develo...
Article
Full-text available
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Although environment has undeniable impact, evidence suggests that genetic factors play a significant role in completed suicide. We linked a resource of ~ 4500 DNA samples from completed suicides obtained from the Utah Medical Examiner to genealogical records and medical records data...
Article
Objective: Death by suicide is a highly preventable yet growing worldwide health crisis. To date, there has been a lack of adequately powered genomic studies of suicide, with no sizable suicide death cohorts available for analysis. To address this limitation, the authors conducted the first comprehensive genomic analysis of suicide death using pre...
Article
Significant racial health disparities in infant mortality, preterm birth, and infant neurodevelopment exist in the United States. These disparities highlight a critical public health problem: Children of color are at a developmental disadvantage before birth. In this article, we describe how pregnant women from marginalized communities are dispropo...
Chapter
Humans are a social species, wired for relationships. The presence or absence of another has salient effects on human responding. This chapter discusses important considerations for dyadic research, including key concepts and theories, common designs and measures, recent innovations, and unique challenges. Attachment theory is foundational for unde...
Article
A limited number of studies have begun to investigate how the coordinated actions of distinct physiological systems may be related to the development of psychopathology. However, the form taken by these patterns of coordination as well as their antecedents and developmental implications remain to be clarified. The Adaptive Calibration Model (ACM) p...
Article
Hair cortisol concentrations measured during pregnancy have emerged as a novel biomarker for prenatal stress exposure. However, associations between prenatal stress and distress, broadly defined, and hair cortisol concentrations during pregnancy are inconsistent. We examined relations among hair cortisol concentrations during the third trimester wi...
Article
Background: Military suicide rates have risen across all service branches, with the overall rate surpassing that of the general population for the first time in history in 2008. Service members with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at a substantially higher risk for suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and death by suicide than their peers...
Article
Background: Sleep is a reliable correlate of suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs), yet few studies have directly examined negative affect in the context of this association. The present study combined daily experience methods with a laboratory paradigm to investigate suicide cognitions as a predictor of emotional responses to environmental stress...
Preprint
Full-text available
Objective Suicide death is a highly preventable, yet growing, worldwide health crisis. To date, there has been a lack of adequately powered genomic studies of suicide, with no sizeable suicide death cohorts available for study. To address this limitation, we conducted the first comprehensive genomic analysis of suicide death, using a previously unp...
Article
Objective: The current study examined how teaching an interpersonal validation-oriented skill from dialectical behavior therapy affects behavioral and biological indices of self-inflicted injury (SII) risk among self-injuring adolescents and their mothers (n = 30 dyads), and typical control mother-daughter dyads (n = 30). Method: Behavioral indi...
Book
Emotion dysregulation—which is often defined as the inability to modulate strong affective states including impulsivity, anger, fear, sadness, and anxiety—is observed in nearly all psychiatric disorders. These include internalizing disorders such as panic disorder and major depression, externalizing disorders such as conduct disorder and antisocial...
Article
The World Health Organization recently reported that maternal mental health is a major public health concern. As many as one in four women suffer from psychiatric disorders at some point during pregnancy or the first postpartum year. Furthermore, self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (SITBs) represent one of the leading causes of death among women...
Article
We investigated whether neurobehavioral markers of risk for emotion dysregulation were evident among newborns, as well as whether the identified markers were associated with prenatal exposure to maternal emotion dysregulation. Pregnant women ( N = 162) reported on their emotion dysregulation prior to a laboratory assessment. The women were then inv...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Training in interoceptive awareness is a promising behavioral approach for improving substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. This study examined the longitudinal effects of Mindful Awareness in Body-oriented Therapy (MABT) as an adjunct to women's SUD treatment. MABT teaches interoceptive awareness skills to promote self-care and emoti...
Article
As early as infancy, caregivers’ facial expressions shape children's behaviors, help them regulate their emotions, and encourage or dissuade their interpersonal agency. In childhood and adolescence, proficiencies in producing and decoding facial expressions promote social competence, whereas deficiencies characterize several forms of psychopatholog...
Article
Full-text available
Identity distress occurs within a variety of psychiatric conditions. Reliable tools for assessing identity-related functioning among clinical populations are greatly needed. The Self-Concept and Identity Measure (SCIM) is a brief self-report scale designed to assess healthy and disturbed identity dimensions. This measure has been validated within n...
Chapter
Full-text available
Emotion dysregulation is a pervasive clinical problem that likely emerges from complex Gene × Environment interactions across development. Epigenetic processes provide a molecular basis by which genotype interacts with the environment across the lifespan to produce phenotype. Epigenetics is defined by molecular processes occurring on and around the...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Emotion regulation is increasingly recognized as important for the prevention and treatment of substance use disorder (SUD). However, there is an identified lack of physiological indexes of emotion dysregulation in SUD treatment studies, critically needed to better understand the link between emotion regulation capacity (measured physi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US. While environment has undeniable impact, evidence suggests genetic factors play a significant role in completed suicide. We linked a resource of >4,500 DNA samples from completed suicides obtained from the Utah Medical Examiner to genealogical records and medical records data available on over 8...
Article
Full-text available
Following recent advances in behavioral and psychiatric epigenetics, researchers are increasingly using epigenetic methods to study prenatal exposure to maternal mood disorder and its effects on fetal and newborn neurobehavior. Despite notable progress, various methodological limitations continue to obscure our understanding of the epigenetic mecha...
Article
Full-text available
Decades of fetal programming research indicates that we may be able to map the origins of many physical, psychological, and medical variations and morbidities before the birth of the child. While great strides have been made in identifying associations between prenatal insults, such as undernutrition or psychosocial stress, and negative development...
Article
Full-text available
Prenatal opioid exposure has reached epidemic proportions. In the last 10 years, there has been a 242% increase in the number of babies born with the drug withdrawal syndrome known as Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS). Developmental outcome studies of infants with prenatal opioid exposure are limited by methodological issues including smal...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Sensory information gained through interoceptive awareness may play an important role in affective behavior and successful inhibition of drug use. This study examined the immediate pre-post effects of the mind-body intervention Mindful Awareness in Body-oriented Therapy (MABT) as an adjunct to women's substance use disorder (SUD) treatm...
Article
Full-text available
Although identity disturbance is a transdiagnostic mental health problem, modern explanatory models for its emergence are limited. To date, the social, developmental, clinical, and neuropsychological literatures exploring identity processes are also largely disconnected. Existing theories have laid the foundation for understanding important compone...
Article
Suicide, self-injury, and predisposing vulnerabilities aggregate in families. Those at greatest risk often show deficits in two biologically-mediated domains: behavioral control and emotion regulation. This pilot study explored electroencephalographic and cardiovascular indices of self-regulation among typical and suicidal adolescents (n = 30/group...
Article
Full-text available
Cardiovascular reactivity during spousal conflict is considered to be one of the main pathways for relationship distress to impact physical, mental, and relationship health. However, the magnitude of association between cardiovascular reactivity during laboratory marital conflict and relationship functioning is small and inconsistent given the scop...
Article
Full-text available
Low resting RSA, and to a lesser extent excessive RSA reactivity to emotion evocation, are observed in many psychiatric disorders characterized by emotion dysregulation, including syndromes spanning the internalizing and externalizing spectra, and other conditions such as nonsuicidal self-injury. Nevertheless, some inconsistencies exist. For exampl...
Article
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) confers risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The present study used the interpersonal perspective to investigate potential mechanisms underlying this association. In two undergraduate samples (N = 293; N = 188) in Study 1, we replicated and extended research by demonstrating that BPD features were associated...
Article
Full-text available
Pre-ejection period (PEP) reactivity to reward has been posited as a specific index of behavioral approach and incentive motivation, suggesting it might be uniquely associated with the affective and motivational deficits of anhedonia. This study evaluated PEP reactivity to a reward task as a predictor of depressive symptoms among adolescents, exami...
Article
Full-text available
Substance use is a complex clinical problem characterized by emotion dysregulation and daily challenges that can interfere with laboratory research. Thus, few psychophysiological studies examine autonomic and self-report measures of emotion dysregulation with multidiagnostic, chemically dependent samples or extend this work into naturalistic settin...
Article
Full-text available
Sleep disturbance is common in borderline personality disorder (BPD), yet the reasons for this association are not clear. The present study sought to extend prior studies by testing emotion dysregulation as a mechanism underlying this association. We administered self-report measures of sleep quality (SQ), emotion dysregulation, and borderline feat...
Article
Full-text available
Emerging adulthood has heightened risk for substance use. College students experience unique challenges, making them prone to use of alcohol, marijuana, and nonmedical use of prescription drugs. This article reviews rates of college students’ substance use, risk factors, and populations at elevated risk. Consequences include legal, academic, and me...
Article
Full-text available
Emotion dysregulation often emerges early in development and is a core feature of many psychological conditions. The Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS) is a well validated and widely used self-report measure for assessing emotion regulation problems among adolescents and adults. The DERS has six subscales with five to eight items each...
Article
Full-text available
Exposure to stress in utero is a risk factor for the development of problem behavior in the offspring, though precise pathways are unknown. We examined whether DNA methylation of the glucocorticoid receptor gene, NR3C1, was associated with experiences of stress by an expectant mother and fearfulness in her infant. Mothers reported on prenatal stres...
Article
Full-text available
Research suggests that self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (SITBs) may function as maladaptive emotion regulation strategies. One psychophysiological index of emotion regulatory capacity is respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA). The temporal course of RSA responsivity to a stressor may be characterized by basal RSA, RSA reactivity to stressor, and R...