Joanne Davila's research while affiliated with Stony Brook University and other places

Publications (121)

Article
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Bisexual, pansexual, and queer (bi+) individuals are at increased risk for depression and anxiety. These disparities are hypothesized to be due to the unique, minority-specific stressors that they experience. Prior research supports that bi+ stressors are associated with depression and anxiety, but nearly all studies have been cross-sectional, limi...
Article
This study examined whether relationship involvement and partner gender were associated with between-person differences and within-person fluctuation in positive and negative affect and alcohol use among people who are attracted to more than one gender or regardless of gender (e.g., bisexual, pansexual, queer; bi+). One hundred and ninety-eight bi+...
Article
The aim of the present study was to examine associations between internalized heterosexism and support processes among same-gender couples. Individuals who belong to a sexual minority group and report negative representations of their sexual identity (what we term internalized heterosexism) are known to report poorer individual well-being (Meyer, 2...
Article
The efforts of bisexual+ people to make their sexual orientation visible are associated with positive and negative outcomes, but little is known about the temporality or directionality of these associations. Using data from a 28-day diary study with 208 bi+ individuals, we found that bi+ visibility attempts were concurrently associated with more po...
Article
Romantic relationships are a central component of life and are linked to well‐being, making adaptive functioning critical. Yet, there are few theory‐driven, systematic efforts to prepare young people to function skillfully. This study reports the results of a randomized controlled trial of a two‐session relationship education program based on Davil...
Article
This study examined the association between romantic competence and observed couple social support behaviors in a sample of 89 emerging adult mixed-gender couples ( M age = 20.65 for men, 20.16 for women). Across analyses, findings generally indicated that higher romantic competence was associated with both seeking and providing support in a more p...
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...
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Gay men experience various stressors, including gay-specific stressors such as discrimination and internalized homonegativity as well as general stressors such as occupational and financial strain. While a robust literature has examined how gay-specific stressors are associated with negative mental health outcomes among gay men, less attention has...
Preprint
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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
Bisexual and other non-monosexual (bi+) people are at increased risk for depression and anxiety compared to both heterosexual and gay/lesbian people. Bi + people are also more likely to conceal their sexual orientation than gay/lesbian people are, and concealment is generally associated with negative mental health outcomes. Despite evidence that co...
Article
Nonsexual physical affection plays an important role in marital functioning, but not all individuals are satisfied with the intimate touch they receive from their partner. Differences in adult attachment tendencies may be one way to understand the individual differences in touch satisfaction. Using a sample of 180 different-sex married couples, we...
Article
Bisexual+ people (i.e., those who are attracted to more than one gender or regardless of gender) use a variety of strategies to make their identity visible to others, but little is known about the extent to which using different strategies is related to other dimensions of identity, minority stress, and health. To address this, we surveyed 715 bi+...
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...
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This study examined the hypothesis that romantic competence (RC) skills would be demonstrated behaviorally during dating couple problem solving interactions. A coding system was developed for RC behavior, and its validity was examined through its association with relationship satisfaction and negative affect expressed. A total of 106 emerging adult...
Article
Background Reward processing deficits have been implicated in the etiology of depression. A blunted reward positivity (RewP), an event-related potential elicited by feedback to monetary gain relative to loss, predicts new onsets and increases in depression symptoms. Etiological models of depression also highlight stressful life events. However, no...
Article
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Sexual minorities are exposed to various gay-related and general stressors that increase risk of mental and physical health problems. Yet, less attention has been paid to positive factors such as ameliorative coping strategies and social supports that reduce risk of mental health difficulties in this population. The current study sought to address...
Article
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Experiencing anti-bisexual discrimination has been linked with numerous negative consequences, such as internalized stigma and symptoms of anxiety and depression. A commonly used measure of anti-bisexual discrimination in research is the Anti-Bisexual Experiences Scale (ABES). While this scale has been instrumental in advancing knowledge about disc...
Article
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There are numerous forms of stigma that contribute to the de-legitimization and erasure of bisexual and other non-monosexual identities (collectively referred to as bisexual+ or bi+ identities). To reduce such stigma, efforts are needed to increase bi+ visibility. Little is known, however, about whether bisexual+ individuals attempt to attain great...
Article
Research exploring the mechanisms by which specific genes contribute to overall marital quality is still in its beginning stages; however, one mechanism may be the link between the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) and behavioral deficits relevant to social support—a critical determinant of marital quality. Using 79 different-sex married couples (N = 1...
Article
Psychopathology in school-age children predicts impairment later in development. However, the long-term psychosocial consequences of early childhood psychopathology are less well known. The current study is the first to prospectively examine how a range of diagnoses and symptoms in early childhood predict psychosocial functioning across specific do...
Article
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Sexual minority individuals are at increased risk for negative health outcomes relative to heterosexual individuals (Meyer, 2003), and accumulating evidence indicates experience the greatest burden (for a review, see Feinstein & Dyar, 2017). These health disparities are due, in large part, to stigma-related stressors (e.g., discrimination; Meyer),...
Article
The field of sexual and gender minority health has advanced exponentially in the past decade. The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology ( JCCP ) has made important strides in publishing work on sexual and gender minority health. Although the following set of articles was not originally planned as a special section, most of the articles addr...
Article
Objective: Research has demonstrated that gay men are at increased risk for internalizing disorders compared with heterosexual men and that minority stressors are risk factors. However, the mechanisms underlying the associations between minority stressors and internalizing symptoms remain unclear. The current study examined coping strategies (acti...
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This study examined whether the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM (SCID), a widely used semistructured interview designed to assess psychopathology categorically, can be adapted to identify reliable and valid severity dimensions of psychopathology. The present study also examined whether these severity dimensions have better psychometric proper...
Article
Close relationships have a positive impact on partners? well-being. However, not every individual seems to benefit to the same extent from being in a close relationship. Insecure attachment is suggested to play a role in this. This study examined the role of attachment insecurity in people?s negative cognitions and dysfunctional affect regulation w...
Article
We examined the association between romantic competence and positive emotional expressions in a relationship-promoting task serving the dual function of (1) furthering our understanding of the skills needed for adaptive expression of positive emotion that can foster intimacy among couples, and (2) further validating the construct of romantic compet...
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In adult couples, stress emerging outside the relationship (extra-dyadic stress) spills over into the relationship evoking conflict between the partners (intra-dyadic stress), which itself has a negative effect on relationship satisfaction over time. This detrimental effect of stress spillover can be buffered by adequate dyadic coping skills of bot...
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A skills-based model of healthy relationship functioning—romantic competence (RC)—is described. Its association with relationship and individual well-being was examined in three studies of emerging adults using the Romantic Competence Interview for Emerging Adults (RCI–EA), which measures competence as the interplay of three skill domains. Across s...
Article
Despite decades of research on sexual identity development and minority stress, sexual identity uncertainty has received relatively little attention. Sexual identity uncertainty refers to the extent to which an individual is uncertain about which sexual identity label best captures their pattern of attractions and behavior. Although theory suggests...
Article
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Negative attitudes toward bisexuals have been documented among heterosexuals as well as lesbians/gay men, and a common theme is that bisexuals would not be suitable romantic or sexual partners. While gender, sexual orientation, and attitudes toward bisexuality influence people's willingness to engage in romantic or sexual activities with a bisexual...
Article
This study examined romantic relationship involvement as a moderator of the associations between discrimination/victimization and depression/anxiety in gay/lesbian versus bisexual individuals. Data from Wave 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions were used. Analyses were conducted separately for gay/lesbian versus...
Article
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The current meta-analysis examined the effects of sexual victimization (SV) on attentional bias for sexual threat. This relationship was also examined among victims of SV with and without a current diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The broader aim was to elucidate potential mechanisms operating between SV and negative health outco...
Article
The current study used multiple informants to examine the impact of relationship experiences with parents and romantic partners on relational security among early adolescent girls, over a 1-year period. Seventy-one early adolescent girls and their primary caregivers participated at Time 1 and 1 year later (Time 2). Findings suggest that both parent...
Article
Adolescent romantic involvement is statistically normative and makes important contributions to relational development. Social anxiety is a prevalent problem in adolescents and is likely to interfere with the development of healthy romantic functioning. In the current chapter, we first review the nature of adolescent romantic relationships and thei...
Article
Objective: Despite the well-documented literature on cross-sectional comorbidity, there is a paucity of data on the associations between personality disorders (PDs) over time. Using multivariate growth modeling, the present study examined the inter-relationships between pairs of PD disorder dimensions. Methods: We tested these associations in a...
Article
The current study examined the associations between sexual orientation prototypicality-or the extent to which an individual's attractions or sexual behaviors are similar to others in the same sexual orientation category-and several indicators of well-being (depressive symptoms, loneliness, and self-esteem). Data were analyzed from a sample of 586 s...
Article
Despite knowledge of negative attitudes toward bisexuals, it remains unclear if this extends to people’s willingness to engage in romantic and sexual activities with bisexual partners. The current study examined gender and sexual orientation differences in willingness to date, have sex with, or be in a relationship with bisexual partners. Participa...
Article
This study examined the extent to which parental acceptance of one's sexual orientation and more general family support moderated the associations between 3 dimensions of minority stress (internalized homonegativity, rejection sensitivity, and discrimination) and depressive symptoms in a sample of 414 self-identified lesbians and gay men who partic...
Article
The current study examined the 3-week prospective associations between cyber-victimization and both depressive symptoms and rumination. In addition, a mediation model was tested, wherein rumination mediated the association between cyber-victimization and depressive symptoms. Participants (N = 565 college-age young adults) completed online surveys a...
Article
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Romantic relationship quality is an important factor for well-being. Most research on romantic relationships is based on heterosexual couples, but studies of different types of dyads showed that relationship functioning among same-sex couples is similar to that among heterosexual couples. However, a few studies suggest that lesbian partners are bet...
Article
Recent research demonstrates that it is the quality rather than the frequency of social networking experiences that places individuals at risk for negative mental health outcomes. However, the mechanisms that account for this association have yet to be examined. Accordingly, this study examined whether the tendency to negatively compare oneself wit...
Article
The current study examined the relationship between borderline personality disorder (BPD) features and appraisals of daily romantic relationship experiences. The sample included 114 ethnically diverse, young adult dating couples (total N = 228). Participants completed a 14-day daily diary study and reported negative impact and emotional loss to the...
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Anxiety and depression co-occur, both at the disorder and symptom levels, and within anxiety disorders, fluctuations in daily anxious mood correspond temporally to fluctuations in depressed mood. However, little is known about the factors or conditions under which anxiety and depressive symptoms are most likely to co-occur. The current study invest...
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The current research proposes that certain anxiety response styles (specifically, responding to anxiety symptoms with rumination or hopeless cognitions) may increase risk of depressive symptoms, contributing to anxiety-depression comorbidity. We delineate preliminary evidence for this model in three studies. In Study 1, controlling for anxiety resp...
Article
Objective: The current study used path analysis to examine potential mechanisms through which experiences of discrimination influence depressive and social anxiety symptoms. Method: The sample included 218 lesbians and 249 gay men (total N = 467) who participated in an online survey about minority stress and mental health. The proposed model inc...
Article
Two studies examined associations between social networking and depressive symptoms among youth. In Study 1, 384 participants (68% female; mean age = 20.22 years, SD = 2.90) were surveyed. In Study 2, 334 participants (62% female; M age = 19.44 years, SD = 2.05) were surveyed initially and 3 weeks later. Results indicated that depressive symptoms w...
Article
Research has linked adolescent romantic and sexual activities to depressive symptoms. The current study examines whether such activities are uniquely linked to depressive symptoms versus symptoms of other disorders (including anxiety, externalizing, and eating disorders), and whether co-occurring symptoms more precisely account for the association...
Article
The current study examined the influence of depressive, global anxiety, and social anxiety symptoms on the frequency and quality of social networking experiences among young adults. Three hundred and one participants (62% female; mean age = 19.44 years, SD = 2.05) completed an initial survey and a follow-up survey three weeks later. Results indicat...
Article
Research suggests that anxiety disorders tend to temporally precede depressive disorders, a finding potentially relevant to understanding comorbidity. The current study used diary methods to determine whether daily anxious mood also temporally precedes daily depressed mood. 55 participants with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and history of depr...
Article
Because the ability to flexibly experience and appropriately express emotions across a range of developmentally relevant contexts is crucial to adaptive functioning, we examined how adolescent attachment security may be related to more functional emotional behavior during a relationship promoting interaction task. Data were collected from 74 early...
Article
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Overall, research has evidenced support for Post's (1992) model, which asserts that the 1st episode of depression is more likely to be associated with severe life events than are subsequent episodes. In spite of this, there are significant gaps in the understanding of the stress-depression association. This study aimed to address three gaps by (a)...
Article
This study examined the associations among three aspects of self-concept (self-esteem, self-concept clarity and sexual identity confusion), self-stigma and depressive symptoms. Two hundred and eighty eight participants (163 lesbians and 125 gay men) completed an anonymous, online survey. Results indicated that individuals with lower self-esteem, lo...
Chapter
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Davila, J., La Greca, A. M., Starr, L. R., & Landoll, R. (2010). Anxiety disorders in adolescence. In J. G. Beck (Ed.), Interpersonal processes in anxiety disorders. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
Article
Building on the growing body of research that supports the relationship between depressive symptoms and sexual activities in adolescence, we examined how individual differences in interpersonal avoidance and anxiety might moderate this association. Data were collected from 71 early adolescent girls (M age 13.45 years; SD = 0.68; 89% Caucasian) conc...
Article
The authors examined secure base functioning in couples by studying the association between daily social support experiences and attachment security in a 14-day daily experiences study of 114 heterosexual dating couples. Both members of each couple reported on daily relationship-specific attachment security and support sought, provided, and receive...
Article
This article presents preliminary psychometric data on the reliability and validity of the newly developed Romantic Competence Interview (RCI). The RCI is an interviewer-assessed measure designed to assess competence among adolescents regardless of romantic relationship status. Eighty-three early adolescent girls (m age=13.45 years) recruited from...
Article
Co-rumination, or excessive discussion of problems within friendships, has been associated with internalizing symptoms and is especially prevalent among adolescent girls. Eighty-three early adolescent girls participated in a prospective study further examining this construct. Co-rumination was positively correlated with depressive symptoms and posi...
Chapter
Davila, J. & Starr, L.R. (2009). Reassurance seeking. In Harry T. Reis & Susan Sprecher (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Human Relationships. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Article
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Coyne's (1976a, 1976b) interactional theory of depression predicts positive associations between excessive reassurance seeking (ERS) and both depression and interpersonal rejection. A growing body of research has supported the ERS model, but this work has yet to be systematically reviewed. A meta-analysis of 38 studies (N = 6,973) revealed an aggre...
Article
Building on evidence that romantic experiences are associated with depressive symptoms in adolescence, we examined their bidirectional association, as well as the role of sexual activity and parent-adolescent stress in their association. Data were collected from 71 early adolescent girls (M age 13.45 years; SD=0.68) and their primary caregiver init...
Article
In spite of the large literature supporting the link between early pubertal timing and depression in adolescent girls, there are some exceptions. This suggests that there may be factors that interact with pubertal timing, increasing risk for depression in some girls, but not others. This study examined two such factors, romantic competence and roma...
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Research on psychosocial correlates of depression and social anxiety often has not accounted for their comorbidity. Differentiating correlates of depression and social anxiety may inform the development of comorbidity models. Building on research linking both disorders to interpersonal dysfunction, this study examined interpersonal correlates of de...
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This study tested associations between adolescent romantic functioning and depressive symptoms and predicted that adolescents with emotionally unavailable parents would be most likely to show an association between poor romantic functioning and depressive symptoms. Data collected from 80 early adolescent nonreferred girls (average age of 13.45; SD...
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ABSTRACT—An emerging body of research indicates that in adolescence, romantic activities, experiences, and relationships are associated with depressive symptoms. This article reviews this literature, highlighting the public and mental health implications of the association, and proposes a research agenda for the future.
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S. M. Monroe and K. L. Harkness reviewed the empirical evidence supporting R. M. Post's kindling model, which suggests the 1st episode of depression is more likely to be preceded by major stressors than are subsequent episodes. Their review highlighted the diverse interpretations of Post's premise in the current literature and the changes in resear...
Chapter
Davila, J., Stroud, C. B., & Starr, L. R. (2008). Depression in couples and families. In I. Gotlib & C. Hammen (Eds.), Handbook of Depression (2nd Ed). New York: Guilford Press.
Article
Commentary on the articles in this special section is provided. Following a brief review of the articles in this section, discussion focuses on the conceptualization of adolescent romantic competence, the importance of studying competence, and the implications of research in this area for knowing how to help young people have more successful romant...
Article
This study examined whether the lower-order factors of the Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI) exhibited specificity in predicting symptoms of panic, depression, and social anxiety prospectively. This question was addressed using a sample of undergraduates stratified to represent low, medium, and high levels of anxiety sensitivity (AS). It was hypothes...
Article
Does forgiveness predict later conflict resolution in married couples? Twelve-month follow-up data on conflict resolution were collected from the couples studied by F. D. Fincham, S. R. Beach, and J. Davila, who had provided earlier reports of forgiveness and conflict resolution. For wives, the positive dimension of forgiveness or benevolence predi...
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This study is a prospective examination of possible interpersonal features of social anxiety that might predict increases in depressive symptoms. It was hypothesised that social anxiety would be associated with avoidance of expressing emotion, lack of assertion, and interpersonal dependency and that these dysfunctional interpersonal styles would pr...
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In this introduction to the special section on attachment theory and psychotherapy, the editors briefly describe the key points of attachment theory (J. Bowlby, 1969, 1973, 1980) and its relevance to psychotherapy. They then outline their criteria for the selection of papers and briefly describe their emphasis. The aim of this section is to present...
Article
Building on a panel presentation titled "Career opportunities for behavioral scientists: Non-academic research settings," given at the November 2004 meeting of the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy, this article presents the experiences of three clinical psychologists who have careers in nontraditional research settings. These authors...