Bunmi O. Olatunji's research while affiliated with Vanderbilt University and other places

Publications (290)

Article
Background and objectives Although exposure therapy is an efficacious treatment for anxiety disorders, fear often returns after treatment. From an inhibitory learning perspective, long-term improvement depends not only on learning that feared stimuli are safe, but also that it is safe to experience the emotional response triggered by these stimuli....
Article
Background Accumulating evidence implicates sleep and circadian rhythm disturbance in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, a multimethod characterization of sleep and circadian rhythms in OCD, their association with symptom severity, and the functional relationship between these variables is lacking. Methods The present study measured mul...
Article
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and illness anxiety disorder (IAD) often co-occur. Cognitive-behavioral models of both disorders overlap and include maladaptive attentional processes, misinterpretation of thoughts and physical sensations, and engagement in repetitive behaviors in an attempt to reduce associated distress. Given commonalities in...
Article
Although studies have identified differences between fear and disgust conditioning, much less is known about the generalization of conditioned disgust. This is an important gap in the literature given that overgeneralization of conditioned disgust to neutral stimuli may have clinical implications. To address this knowledge gap, female participants...
Article
Existing theoretical models and empirical evidence suggest that worry proneness is associated with anxious responding. However, it is unknown how worry proneness may influence the experience of anxiety throughout the day. The present study addresses this gap in the literature by employing an ecological momentary assessment design to examine the imp...
Article
Several studies have examined the acquisition and extinction of fear in PTSD in the context of Pavlovian conditioning. However, research examining reconditioning of fear following extinction, a form of post-extinction re-emergence of conditioned behavior is limited. Although the 5-HT3A receptor gene polymorphism has been linked to trauma responses,...
Article
Intolerance of uncertainty (IU) is the tendency to respond negatively toward uncertain situations. IU consists of a Prospective factor (desire for predictability) and an Inhibitory factor (uncertainty paralysis) and is central to theoretical approaches to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, time-invariant (TI) and time-varying (TV) compon...
Article
Although theoretical models suggest that an attentional bias for threat contributes to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, this bias has not been consistently observed in the literature. In the present study, trauma exposed veterans (N = 114) performed an emotional attentional blink task in which task-irrelevant comba...
Article
Sleep and circadian rhythm disturbance are increasingly recognized in anxiety-related disorders; however, the links between sleep and circadian rhythms and specific transdiagnostic processes evident in these disorders and their treatment have not been delineated. The present study examined the associations between chronotype, insomnia symptoms, and...
Article
Full-text available
Background Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with markers of accelerated aging. Estimates of brain age, compared to chronological age, may clarify the effects of PTSD on the brain and may inform treatment approaches targeting the neurobiology of aging in the context of PTSD. Method Adult subjects (N = 2229; 56.2% male) aged 18–69...
Article
Overgeneralization of conditioned fear to safe stimuli that resemble a previously-learned threat-cue is a well-studied correlate of clinical anxiety, yet whether conditioned disgust generalizes remains unknown, as does the extent to which such generalization is associated with disgust-related traits and maladaptive outcomes. The present study addre...
Article
Although rumination is a risk factor for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the processes that influence the association between rumination and PTSD symptoms are unclear. Processes that facilitate reorienting or redirecting attention may play an important role in the relationship between rumination and PTSD. While attentional control is one such...
Article
Background Attentional control refers to the ability to direct, focus, and shift attention voluntarily, and poor attentional control may confer risk for various affective disorders by increasing repetitive negative thinking. Although attentional control has been described as a trait, it is unclear if it is a time-varying (TV) or state-like factor v...
Article
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has fundamentally altered daily life across the globe, and the stress associated with these changes is likely to impact sleep. Sleep is critical for physical and mental health; thus, understanding the factors that may contribute to poor sleep during the pandemic represents a first step in identifying...
Article
Although exposure and response prevention (ERP) is an effective treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), it is unclear whether the decoupling of obsessions and compulsions is associated with treatment response. Accordingly, the present study examined change in the association between obsessions and compulsions during ERP for OCD as well a...
Article
We investigated differential treatment effects on specific eating disorder (ED) indicators to enhance conclusions about treatment efficacy. Profile Analysis via Multidimensional Scaling, which identifies core profiles in a population and interprets person profiles with core profile information, was utilized to identify core profiles from a sample o...
Preprint
Full-text available
Overgeneralization of conditioned fear to safe stimuli that resemble a previously-learned threat-cue is a well-studied correlate of clinical anxiety, yet whether conditioned disgust generalizes remains unknown, as does the extent to which such generalization is associated with disgust-related traits and maladaptive outcomes. The present study addre...
Article
Background Although an attentional bias for threat is implicated in anxiety disorders, such a bias has not been consistently observed in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This inconsistency is partially due to a paucity of studies employing robust attentional tasks. The emotional attentional blink (EAB), a phenomenon in which the brief appearanc...
Article
There is considerable concern in the mental health community about the psychological consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and who may be most vulnerable. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms may be particularly sensitive to the context of the pandemic. Previous research suggests insomnia symptoms may contribute to increased OCD symptoms...
Article
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has broadly increased anxiety and changed individual behavior. However, there is limited research examining predictors of pandemic-related changes, and the majority of existing research is cross-sectional in nature, which limits causal inference. Given functional links with disease avoidance processes, individual...
Chapter
Disgust has been described as a basic emotion that evolved largely as a defensive mechanism. Although previously described as the ‘forgotten emotion,’ research on the emotion of disgust has seen a considerable rise in the last few decades. Accordingly, investigation into individual differences in disgust responding has become increasingly more prom...
Article
Although disgust proneness (DP) is increasingly recognized as a personality characteristic that confers risk for psychiatric conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), the extent to which it reflects a time-varying (TV) or state-like factor versus a time-invariant (TI) or trait-like personality characteristic is unclear. In a 6-wave, 5...
Article
The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory – Trait version (STAI-T) was developed to measure an individual’s tendency to experience anxiety, but it may lack discriminant evidence of validity based on strong observed relationships with measures of depression. The present series of meta-analyses compares STAI-T scores among individuals with depressive disorde...
Book
Thoroughly updated and revised, the ninth edition of this bestselling textbook introduces students to clinical psychology as a bridge between science and practice. Extensive revisions since the previous edition have resulted in the most accessible, up-to-date and thematically integrated edition of Introduction to Clinical Psychology yet, while main...
Article
Although considerable research has shown that sleep loss results in decreased positive affect, findings regarding change in negative affect are inconsistent. Such inconsistency may be due in part to variability in individual difference factors, such as chronotype, which is associated with both sleep and affective outcomes. Chronotype represents the...
Article
Although health anxiety and corresponding safety behaviors can facilitate disease transmission avoidance, they can be maladaptive in excess, including during the coronavirus pandemic. Disgust proneness (i.e., tendency to experience and be sensitive to disgust) is one factor that may predict elevated coronavirus anxiety and safety behaviors during t...
Article
COVID-19 presents significant social, economic, and medical challenges. Because COVID-19 has already begun to precipitate huge increases in mental health problems, clinical psychological science must assert a leadership role in guiding a national response to this secondary crisis. In this article, COVID-19 is conceptualized as a unique, compounding...
Article
Although exposure is effective for blood-injection-injury (BII) phobia, fear often returns after treatment. While disgust has been implicated in BII phobia, its effects on fear renewal are unclear. To address this knowledge gap, the present study examined the effect of repeated video exposure to fearful and disgusting stimuli in multiple contexts o...
Preprint
Full-text available
COVID-19 presents humanity with one of the greatest health and economic crises of the 21st Century. Because COVID-19 has already begun to precipitate a huge increase in mental health problems, we believe that clinical science must also play a leadership role in guiding a national response to this secondary crisis. In this article, we explain why CO...
Article
Background : Evidence suggests that depression and anxiety disorders are genetically based. Although symptoms of these internalizing disorders tend to correlate, the degree to which the related symptoms are heritable is unclear. This overlap has been conceptualized as Anxious Misery and existing research examining similar constructs of negative aff...
Article
Several studies have observed heightened Pavlovian fear conditioning in PTSD. However, it is unclear how fear conditioning in PTSD is related to risk factors for the disorder, such as anxiety sensitivity. Fifty-one combat-exposed veterans (20 with PTSD, 31 without PTSD) completed a differential fear conditioning task in which one colored rectangle...
Article
Although sleep loss increases state anxiety, the effects of partial sleep restriction on specific anxiety symptoms and mechanisms that may influence this relation remain unknown. It is also unknown whether prior sleep buffers the impact of sleep restriction on anxiety symptoms. Thus, the present study examined the relations between inhibition and r...
Article
Although sleep disturbance is implicated in psychopathology, its role in anxiety-related disorders remains unclear. The present meta-analysis characterizes sleep disturbance in anxiety-related disorders collectively and individually. Subjective measures of total sleep time and sleep continuity were included with objective measures. Results indicate...
Article
The growth of clinical science as a field depends on the work of engaged mentors nurturing future generations of scientists. Effective research mentoring has been shown to predict positive outcomes, including greater scholarly productivity, reduced attrition, and increased satisfaction with training and/or employment, which ultimately may enhance t...
Article
Full-text available
Although “not just right experiences” (NJREs) and disgust proneness (DP) have been increasingly implicated in the development and maintenance of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), no studies to date have examined their conjoint effect. In the present study, structural equation modeling was used to examine the extent to which NJREs and DP were ass...
Article
Background and objective: Immunosuppression is characteristic of the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and is accompanied by an adaptive disgust response to reduce contact with pathogens. However, research has not examined the effects of emotion regulation on disgust during the menstrual cycle. Accordingly, the present study examines the effect...
Article
Full-text available
Although research has linked insomnia symptoms to repetitive negative thinking (RNT), few studies have examined how insomnia symptoms are associated with RNT over time or specific factors that may account for this relationship. The present study addressed this gap in the literature by examining executive function and emotion regulation as mediators...
Article
Although research has shown that disgust facilitates avoidance of small animals among adults, much less is known about disgust appraisals of small animals in children as well as the predictors of such appraisals. To address this gap, children (ages 5–13) were exposed to dirt-related and cleanliness-related information about unknown animals. The ext...
Article
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and insomnia are comorbid clinical conditions that are thought to result from genetic and environmental effects. Though studies have established the heritability of these disorders independently, no study to date has examined the genetic contributions to the relation between insomnia and PTSD symptoms (PTSS). Th...
Article
Despite growing interest in the link between sleep disturbance and psychopathology, much remains unknown regarding obsessive-compulsive and related disorders (OCRDs). The present review integrates contemporary research on the relations between sleep and OCRDs, including hoarding disorder, trichotillomania, and excoriation disorder in order to infor...
Article
Background: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a heterogeneous condition that consists of distinct subtypes, and identification of its core symptoms may inform how to best conceptualize the heterogeneity. Accordingly, we used network analysis to evaluate which symptoms (and associations between symptoms) are most central to OCD symptoms and be...
Article
Background: Increasing evidence implicates circadian rhythms, including chronotype, in anxiety symptoms and disorders. However, it remains unclear whether this relation is accounted for by sleep disturbance. Likewise, given overlap between anxiety and negative affect, a unique link between chronotype and anxiety remains to be established. The pres...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review Circadian rhythms are a topic of growing interest in mental health, particularly in obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, the consistency of this link has not been carefully examined. Thus, the present review integrates findings from the past 5 years in order to determine the strength of such a relationship and identify areas fo...
Article
Although the experience of disgust is commonly endorsed among women with eating disorders, it remains unclear how to best model this emotion in relation to disordered eating. The present study sought to identify potential disgust conditioning abnormalities that may underlie the development of eating disorder symptoms. Individuals high and low in ea...
Article
Although considerable evidence has linked disgust proneness (DP) to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), few studies have examined the extent to which DP predicts OCD symptoms over time. Further, it remains unclear if DP is a risk factor for the contamination subtype of OCD specifically or if it is prospectively associated with other OCD symptom su...
Article
Evidence suggests that Disgust Sensitivity (DS) is a personality trait that may confer risk for the development of some anxiety-related disorders. To examine the origins of this trait we administered the DS subscale of the Disgust Propensity and Sensitivity Scale-Revised to 90 monozygotic and 90 dizygotic twin pairs, of which 55% were women. The DS...
Article
Introduction Increasing evidence implicates circadian rhythms, including chronotype, in anxiety symptoms and disorders (Taylor & Hasler, 2018). However, it remains unclear whether the relationship between chronotype and anxiety pathology is explained by sleep disturbance. Likewise, given overlap between anxiety and mood symptoms, a unique link betw...
Article
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is associated with altered processing in brain regions involved in conflict resolution. However, limited research has examined the extent to which conflict from emotional distracters characterizes OCD such that responsiveness to task-irrelevant emotional stimuli is altered compared to controls. In the present stu...
Article
Although current cognitive–behavioral models suggest that maladaptive “obsessive beliefs” about threat, responsibility, uncertainty, perfectionism, importance, and control of thoughts contributes to the development of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), the structure of such beliefs is unclear. The current study evaluated a bifactor model of obses...
Article
Disgust propensity (DP) has been conceptualized as a stable personality trait that confers risk for contamination-related OCD (C-OCD). However, the extent to which DP leads to the subsequent development of C-OCD is unclear. In fact, the presence of C-OCD might lead to an increase in DP rather than the inverse. The present study was aimed to test th...
Article
Previous research has linked sleep disturbance to anxiety. However, evidence for this relation has been inconsistent, largely limited to retrospective reports that do not account for daily variability, and silent on when the association is most pronounced. Thus, the present study utilized ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to examine the effects...
Article
Although anger has been observed in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), it remains unclear if rumination about anger is characteristic and/or unique to OCD. The present study examines whether types of anger rumination are endorsed more strongly by OCD patients compared to clinical and nonclinical controls. Patients with OCD (n = 30), generalized a...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of review: In the past 20 years, the role of disgust in anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has been investigated with increasing precision. In this review, we examine recent evidence implicating disgust in anxiety and OCD, highlighting recent measurement and methodological improvements. Specific emphasis is placed on...
Article
Background and objectives: The present study examines the extent to which intrusive thoughts and associated distress explains the association between anxiety sensitivity (AS) and post-traumatic stress (PTS) using the "trauma film paradigm". Methods: Participants high and low in AS viewed a 10-min film of graphic scenes of fatal traffic accidents...
Article
Disgust has been implicated in the fear of contamination that is commonly observed in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, basic and treatment-oriented research has shown that disgust is resistant to extinction among those with a fear of contamination. Consequently, there is growing interest in discovering novel approaches to targeting hei...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review Sleep disturbance has received growing attention as a transdiagnostic factor that may contribute to multiple forms of psychopathology, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The extant literature regarding the role of sleep disturbance in OCD is rapidly developing. This review integrates the findings related to sleep and O...
Article
A growing body of research has implicated disgust in various psychopathologies, especially anxiety-related disorders. Although the observed role of disgust in many disorders is robust, the mechanisms that may explain this role are unclear. Cutting-edge research in cognitive science has the potential to elucidate such mechanisms and consequently imp...
Article
Full-text available
Disgust has been shown to perform a “disease-avoidance” function in contamination fears. However, no studies have examined the relevance of disgust to obsessive–compulsive (OC) concerns about sexual orientation (e.g., fear of one’s sexual orientation transforming against one’s will, and compulsive avoidance of same-sex and/or gay or lesbian individ...
Article
Background: Eveningness may be defined as the tendency to be most active and alert during the evening. Previous research has linked eveningness with maladaptive psychological outcomes, and recent evidence has highlighted circadian dysregulation as a novel factor in psychopathology, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, limited re...
Article
Eating disorders (EDs) are characterized by symptoms that reflect disturbed eating habits. Available data on EDs largely reflects a traditional latent variable model, whereby symptoms reflect an underlying entity. The network model is an alternative approach where ED symptoms do not reflect an inferred, unobservable category or dimension, but rathe...
Article
Exposure therapy has strong empirical support as a treatment for anxiety and related disorders, yet not all participants see clinically meaningful reduction in symptoms, and some experience return of fear. In this review, we examine the theoretical models of exposure therapy, from early precursors to the contemporary inhibitory learning model. The...
Article
Objective: Although symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are common following exposure to a traumatic event, most people who experience trauma do not develop PTSD. Thus, the identification of risk factors that may interact with trauma exposure to confer vulnerability for the development of PTSD may highlight important targets for preve...
Article
Although considerable evidence has linked sleep disturbance to symptoms of psychopathology, including repetitive negative thinking, few studies have examined how sleep disturbance may predict repetitive negative thinking over time. Further, no study to date has examined specific mechanisms that may account for this relationship. The present study s...
Article
Experimental research has shown that conditioned disgust is resistant to extinction, which may account for the slower habituation to disgust relative to fear in contamination-based obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, few studies have examined the efficacy of interventions that may attenuate conditioned disgust responses. Studies of cognit...
Article
Chronic pain is a common problem that can be challenging to treat because of its complex history, unclear etiology, and poor response to traditional treatment approaches. A growing body of research suggests that behavioral activation (BA), which was originally developed as a treatment for depression, may be a promising treatment for chronic pain. B...
Article
Research suggests that disgust may be linked to the etiology of some anxiety-related disorders. The present investigation reviews this literature and employs separate meta-analyses of clinical group comparison and correlational studies to examine the association between disgust proneness and anxiety-related disorder symptoms. Meta-analysis of 43 gr...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of review: The goal of this review is to integrate recent findings on sleep disturbance and PTSD, examine sleep disturbance as a causal factor in the development of PTSD, and identify future directions for research, treatment, and prevention. Recent findings: Recent research highlights a relationship between both objective and subjective...
Article
Although deficits in attentional control have been linked to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the mechanism that may account for this association has not been fully elucidated. The present study examined rumination as a mediator of the relationship between attentional control and PTSD symptoms. Veterans with PTSD and trauma-exposed veterans wi...
Article
Pavlovian fear conditioning provides a model for anxiety-related disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, disgust is the predominant emotional response to contamination, which is a common theme in OCD. The present study sought to identify disgust conditioning abnormalities that may underlie excessive contamination concerns...
Article
Background: Although studies have linked disgust proneness to the etiology and maintenance of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in adults, there remains a paucity of research examining the specificity of this association among youth. Method: The present study employed structural equation modeling to examine the association between disgust pron...
Article
Full-text available
This study evaluated the psychometric properties of the Child Disgust Scale (CDS) among 457 youth (ages 8–17, M = 14.77 ± 1.98 years) initiating residential treatment for obsessive–compulsive disorder and anxiety disorders. Confirmatory factor analysis supported a bifactor model with two distinct factors of Disgust Avoidance and Disgust Affect, in...
Article
Although homosexuality can evoke disgust, the extent to which disgust influences judgments about transgressions committed by homosexuals remains unclear. To address this knowledge gap, participants high (HHD) and low (LHD) in homosexual disgust provided disgust and immorality ratings of offenses committed by homosexuals or heterosexuals. The presen...
Chapter
Disgust has been described as a basic emotion that evolved largely as a defensive mechanism. Although initially described as the ‘forgotten emotion’, research on the emotion of disgust has seen a considerable rise in the last few decades. Accordingly, investigation regarding individual differences in disgust responding has become increasingly more...
Article
Full-text available
Disordered gambling is characterized by persistent and problematic gambling, leading to impairment or distress, which may be exacerbated by vigilance to gambling cues in the environment. Yet, questions regarding the specific attentional biases present in gamblers remain unresolved. In the current study, we used a rapid serial visual presentation pa...
Article
Although some studies suggest that the association between disgust proneness (DP) and obsessive–compulsive symptoms (OCS) is specific to the contamination subtype, others suggest that DP is associated with OCS more broadly. To examine if the discrepant findings may partially reflect differences in self-report measures used, this investigation emplo...
Article
Although disgust proneness has been implicated in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), there is a paucity of research examining change in disgust proneness during treatment as well as the correlates of such change, especially in children. This study examined the relationship between changes in disgust proneness and disorder-specific symptoms during...
Article
Background and objectives: The current study examines effects of exposure in multiple contexts on fear reduction and renewal and the moderating effect of baseline threat-specific and nonspecific emotionality. Methods: Snake-fearful participants received a negative or neutral emotion induction and were randomized to video exposure to a snake in a...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review There has been an emergence of theoretical and empirical accounts on the nature and function of disgust in the literature. However, this literature has largely focused on adults. This article summarizes the literature on the emotion of disgust in children with emphasis on illuminating reactions to proposed disgust elicitors and th...
Article
Although cognitive–behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be highly effective for a wide range of disorders, many patients do not benefit. The failure to fully benefit from CBT may be due to a wide range of factors, one of which includes “clinical errors” that often occur during the therapeutic process. We briefly note 4 such clinical errors in...
Article
Full-text available
Although disgust has been implicated in moral judgments, the extent to which the influence of disgust on moral judgment is distinct from other negative affective states remains unclear. To address this gap in knowledge, participants in Study 1 were randomized to a disgust (hand submersion in imitation vomit), discomfort (hand submersion in ice wate...
Article
This study examines whether the spacing of a single unreinforced retrieval trial relative to extinction learning allows for “rewriting” the original disgust association, thereby preventing the return of disgust using a paradigm that employs disgust-relevant unconditioned stimuli (US). During conditioning, disgusting US were paired with a color squa...
Conference Paper
Aim: Disgust propensity (DP) is a relatively stable personality trait that has been conceptualized as a risk factor for contamination-related OCD (C-OCD). This view assumes that heightened levels of DP predict the development of C-OCD. More specifically, the presence of DP leads to an increase in C-OCD. However, no study to date has tested this ass...