Interindividual differences in affective experiences and their associations with pain outcomes: The role of affect discrepancies
Yip, Pui Wang Abby
Ample research has examined the role of actual affect in various aspects of human development. Research on the role of affective goals, including ideal and avoided affect, has not emerged until recently, and the majority of studies tend to focus on select aspects of the affective space. By simultaneously assessing actual, ideal, and avoided affect with reference to the full affective circumplex, three studies investigated interindividual differences in affect discrepancies and their associations with pain experiences and outcomes. First, a large-scale survey (Chapter 1) examined actual affect, affect discrepancies, and their associations with age, gender, and personality traits among a nationally representative sample. Responses from a subset of participants who experienced pain over the past week (Chapter 2) were further analyzed to examine associations between affect and pain experiences and to explore underlying mechanisms with respect to pain catastrophizing and pain self-efficacy. Finally, an 8-day daily sampling study (Chapter 3) examined the effects of day-level actual affect and affect discrepancies on daily pain intensity among chronic pain patients and considered the effects of pain catastrophizing and coping as mediators. Combined results suggest that affect discrepancies vary significantly with personality traits, and interindividual differences in affect discrepancies are associated with pain experiences beyond the effects of actual affect. Maladaptive pain coping and pain catastrophizing emerged as significant mediators. In addition, although high-arousal affective states tend to be harder to regulate than other emotions (with larger ideal-actual and smaller avoided-actual affect discrepancies), effective management of these emotions is crucial in improving pain experience and outcomes. Implications for interventions targeting chronic pain patients are discussed. The significance of simultaneously assessing affective goals along with actual affect when examining the role of emotions in human motivation and behaviors is considered.
Emotions; Affect discrepancies; Affective experiences; Individual differences; Pain; Developmental psychology
Loeckenhoff, Corinna E.
Wang, Qi; Ong, Anthony D.
Ph.D., Human Development
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis