Variability in Daily Experiences of Mood and its Correlates
Advisor:Strunk, Daniel R.
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Psychology Honors Theses; 2009
This study investigated the characteristics and correlates of Mood variability (MV), defined as atypically frequent fluctuations in mood. MV has been associated in the literature with various forms of psychopathology. For example, MV has shown, however inconsistently, to be elevated in people with depressive symptomatology. This study sought to replicate previous findings of this positive correlation. Due to the well established association of depressive symptoms and stress, this study also examined if MV correlates with stress beyond depressive symptom severity. Other associations explored are those with maladaptive mood regulation abilities, and personality factors. Although MV was not found to be correlated with depressive symptoms through experience sampling methods, a positive correlation was found for self report measures of MV. MV was also found to correlate with both a one-time retrospective measure and daily assessments over one week. Surprisingly, higher levels of MV as measured by experience sampling methods but not through self-report measures were associated with better recovery from a negative mood induction. This study demonstrates the benefit of a multi-method approach to studying mood variability, by means of both experience sampling and survey methods.