Emotion and Mood Lab
The Colby Emotion and Mood Lab integrates theories and methods of basic emotion research and clinical psychology to further our understanding of the impact of stress and interpersonal functioning on emotional reactivity and mood disorders. Our research primarily focuses on depression during the transition to young adulthood, while also examining basic emotion processes in healthy individuals. One question of interest to our lab involves the pattern of stress generation exhibited by many individuals with recurrent depression. What personality factors, social skills, or cognitive patterns contribute to the generation of negative life events and chronic stress in previously depressed individuals? How do these factors impact the experience of significant life transitions, such as the transition to college? Our lab utilizes a variety of research methods, including qualitative approaches, quantitative self-report measures, interpersonal laboratory tasks, ecological momentary assessment, and genetic models.
Current research projects in the Emotion and Mood Lab include 1) the use of experience sampling methods to identify patterns of interpersonal stress, social problem-solving strategies, and depression in young adults, 2) investigation of the relationship of social media use and emotional processing, and 3) identification of the factors that contribute to and interfere with social belonging on a college campus. The long-terms goals of the lab include the development of a social skills-based depression prevention program for matriculating college students.
For a more detailed description of current projects, select this link.
(click on titles for PDFs)
Sheets, E. S., Duncan, L. E., Bjornsson, A. S., Craighead, L. W., & Craighead, W. E. (in press). Personality pathology factors predict recurrent major depressive disorder in emerging adults. Journal of Clinical Psychology.
Yen, S., Weinstock, L., Andover, P., Sheets, E. S., Selby, E. A., & Spirito, A. (in press). Prospective predictors of adolescent suicidality: Six month post hospitalization follow-up. Psychological Medicine.
Sheets, E. S., Craighead, L. W., Brosse, A. L., Hauser, M., Madsen, J. W., & Craighead, W. E. (2013). Prevention of recurrence of major depression among emerging adults by a group cognitive-behavioral/interpersonal intervention. Journal of Affective Disorders, 147, 425-430.
Craighead, W. E., Sheets, E. S., Craighead, L. W., & Madsen, J. W. (2011). Recurrence of MDD among previously depressed young adults: A prospective study of personality pathology and cognitive distortions. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 2(2), 83-97.
Muralidharan, A., Sheets, E. S., Madsen, J., Craighead, L. W., & Craighead, W. E. (2011). Interpersonal competence across domains: Relevance to personality pathology. Journal of Personality Disorders, 25(1), 16-27.
Sheets, E. S., & Miller, I. W. (2010). Predictors of relationship functioning for patients with bipolar disorder and their partners. Journal of Family Psychology, 24, 371-379.
Sheets, E. S., & Craighead, W. E. (2007). Toward an empirically based classification of personality pathology. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 14, 77-93.
In the News
What’s On Your Mind? Colby Magazine, Summer 2013.
Lab Director, Assistant Professor of Psychology
I received my A.B. in Psychology and Spanish from Duke University in 2001. I then attended graduate school at the University of Colorado at Boulder, completing my M.A. in 2004 and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2008. After completing a predoctoral internship in adult clinical psychology at Brown University, I received specialized training as a postdoctoral fellow in mood disorders and perinatal mental health at Brown University and Butler Hospital. I joined the faculty of Colby College in Fall 2010.
My primary line of research focuses on the interplay of personality and stress on the course of depression, particularly during emerging adulthood (ages 18 – 29) and the transition to motherhood. Since coming to Colby, I also have expanded this to a second line of research examining interpersonally-relevant emotion regulation skills in nonclinical, mentally healthy samples. Previous projects have included 1) examination of the impact of personality disorder factors on the course of depression, 2) evaluation of chronic stress and episodic stress as mediators of the impact of personality pathology on depression, and 3) identification of barriers to depression treatment during pregnancy. Future research projects will continue to focus on the impact of interpersonal functioning and stress on the onset and course of mood disorders.