Bio


Nilam Ram studies the dynamic interplay of psychological and media processes and how they change from moment-to-moment and across the life span.

Nilam’s research grows out of a history of studying change. After completing his undergraduate study of economics, he worked as a currency trader, frantically tracking and trying to predict the movement of world markets as they jerked up, down and sideways. Later, he moved on to the study of human movement, kinesiology, and eventually psychological processes - with a specialization in longitudinal research methodology. Generally, Nilam studies how short-term changes (e.g., processes such as learning, information processing, emotion regulation, etc.) develop across the life span, and how longitudinal study designs contribute to generation of new knowledge. Current projects include examinations of age-related change in children’s self- and emotion-regulation; patterns in minute-to-minute and day-to-day progression of adolescents’ and adults’ emotions; and change in contextual influences on well-being during old age. He is developing a variety of study paradigms that use recent developments in data science and the intensive data streams arriving from social media, mobile sensors, and smartphones to study change at multiple time scales.

Academic Appointments


2023-24 Courses


Stanford Advisees


All Publications


  • Binding the Person-Specific Approach to Modern AI in the Human Screenome Project: Moving past Generalizability to Transferability. Multivariate behavioral research Ram, N., Haber, N., Robinson, T. N., Reeves, B. 2023: 1-9

    Abstract

    Advances in ability to comprehensively record individuals' digital lives and in AI modeling of those data facilitate new possibilities for describing, predicting, and generating a wide variety of behavioral processes. In this paper, we consider these advances from a person-specific perspective, including whether the pervasive concerns about generalizability of results might be productively reframed with respect to transferability of models, and how self-supervision and new deep neural network architectures that facilitate transfer learning can be applied in a person-specific way to the super-intensive longitudinal data arriving in the Human Screenome Project. In developing the possibilities, we suggest Molenaar add a statement to the person-specific Manifesto - "In short, the concerns about generalizability commonly leveled at the person-specific paradigm are unfounded and can be fully and completely replaced with discussion and demonstrations of transferability."

    View details for DOI 10.1080/00273171.2023.2229305

    View details for PubMedID 37439508

  • The Idiosyncrasies of Everyday Digital Lives: Using the Human Screenome Project to Study User Behavior on Smartphones. Computers in human behavior Brinberg, M. n., Ram, N. n., Yang, X. n., Cho, M. J., Sundar, S. S., Robinson, T. N., Reeves, B. n. 2021; 114

    Abstract

    Most methods used to make theory-relevant observations of technology use rely on self-report or application logging data where individuals' digital experiences are purposively summarized into aggregates meant to describe how the average individual engages with broadly defined segments of content. This aggregation and averaging masks heterogeneity in how and when individuals actually engage with their technology. In this study, we use screenshots (N > 6 million) collected every five seconds that were sequenced and processed using text and image extraction tools into content-, context-, and temporally-informative "screenomes" from 132 smartphone users over several weeks to examine individuals' digital experiences. Analyses of screenomes highlight extreme between-person and within-person heterogeneity in how individuals switch among and titrate their engagement with different content. Our simple quantifications of textual and graphical content and flow throughout the day illustrate the value screenomes have for the study of individuals' smartphone use and the cognitive and psychological processes that drive use. We demonstrate how temporal, textual, graphical, and topical features of people's smartphone screens can lay the foundation for expanding the Human Screenome Project with full-scale mining that will inform researchers' knowledge of digital life.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.chb.2020.106570

    View details for PubMedID 33041494

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7543997

  • Time for the Human Screenome Project NATURE Reeves, B., Robinson, T., Ram, N. 2020; 577 (7790): 314–17

    View details for Web of Science ID 000509570100014

    View details for PubMedID 31942062

  • Screenomics: A New Approach for Observing and Studying Individuals' Digital Lives. Journal of adolescent research Ram, N., Yang, X., Cho, M. J., Brinberg, M., Muirhead, F., Reeves, B., Robinson, T. N. 2020; 35 (1): 16-50

    Abstract

    This study describes when and how adolescents engage with their fast-moving and dynamic digital environment as they go about their daily lives. We illustrate a new approach - screenomics - for capturing, visualizing, and analyzing screenomes, the record of individuals' day-to-day digital experiences.Over 500,000 smartphone screenshots provided by four Latino/Hispanic youth, age 14-15 years, from low-income, racial/ethnic minority neighborhoods.Screenomes collected from smartphones for one to three months, as sequences of smartphone screenshots obtained every five seconds that the device is activated, are analyzed using computational machinery for processing images and text, machine learning algorithms, human-labeling, and qualitative inquiry.Adolescents' digital lives differ substantially across persons, days, hours, and minutes. Screenomes highlight the extent of switching among multiple applications, and how each adolescent is exposed to different content at different times for different durations - with apps, food-related content, and sentiment as illustrative examples.We propose that the screenome provides the fine granularity of data needed to study individuals' digital lives, for testing existing theories about media use, and for generation of new theory about the interplay between digital media and development.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0743558419883362

    View details for PubMedID 32161431

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7065687

  • Emotional Experience Improves With Age: Evidence Based on Over 10 Years of Experience Sampling PSYCHOLOGY AND AGING Carstensen, L. L., Turan, B., Scheibe, S., Ram, N., Ersner-Hershfield, H., Samanez-Larkin, G. R., Brooks, K. P., Nesselroade, J. R. 2011; 26 (1): 21-33

    Abstract

    Recent evidence suggests that emotional well-being improves from early adulthood to old age. This study used experience-sampling to examine the developmental course of emotional experience in a representative sample of adults spanning early to very late adulthood. Participants (N = 184, Wave 1; N = 191, Wave 2; N = 178, Wave 3) reported their emotional states at five randomly selected times each day for a one week period. Using a measurement burst design, the one-week sampling procedure was repeated five and then ten years later. Cross-sectional and growth curve analyses indicate that aging is associated with more positive overall emotional well-being, with greater emotional stability and with more complexity (as evidenced by greater co-occurrence of positive and negative emotions). These findings remained robust after accounting for other variables that may be related to emotional experience (personality, verbal fluency, physical health, and demographic variables). Finally, emotional experience predicted mortality; controlling for age, sex, and ethnicity, individuals who experienced relatively more positive than negative emotions in everyday life were more likely to have survived over a 13 year period. Findings are discussed in the theoretical context of socioemotional selectivity theory.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/a0021285

    View details for Web of Science ID 000288590800003

    View details for PubMedID 20973600

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3332527

  • How are Conversations via an On-Demand Peer-To-Peer Emotional Well-Being App Associated with Emotional Improvement? Health communication Brinberg, M., Jones, S. M., Birnbaum, M. L., Bodie, G. D., Ram, N., Solomon, D. H. 2024: 1-14

    Abstract

    Non-clinical, on-demand peer-to-peer (PtP) support apps have become increasingly popular over the past several years. Although not as pervasive as general self-help apps, these PtP support apps are usually free and instantly connect individuals through live texting with a non-clinical volunteer who has been minimally trained to listen and offer support. To date, there is little empirical work that examines whether and how using an on-demand PtP support app improves emotional well-being. Applying regression and multilevel models to N = 1000+ PtP conversations, this study examined whether individuals experience emotional improvement following a conversation on a PtP support app (HearMe) and whether dyadic characteristics of the conversation - specifically, verbal and emotional synchrony - are associated with individuals' emotional improvement. We found that individuals reported emotional improvement following a conversation on the PtP support app and that verbal (but not emotional) synchrony was associated with the extent of individuals' emotional improvement. Our results suggest that online PtP support apps are a viable source of help. We discuss cautions and considerations when applying our findings to enhance the delivery of support provision on PtP apps.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/10410236.2024.2360178

    View details for PubMedID 38836301

  • Historical change in trajectories of loneliness in old age: Older adults today are less lonely, but do not differ in their age trajectories. Psychology and aging Suanet, B., Drewelies, J., Duezel, S., Eibich, P., Demuth, I., Steinhagen-Thiessen, E., Wagner, G. G., Lindenberger, U., Ram, N., Ghisletta, P., Gerstorf, D. 2024; 39 (4): 350-363

    Abstract

    To check claims of a "loneliness epidemic," we examined whether current cohorts of older adults report higher levels and/or steeper age-related increases in loneliness than earlier-born peers. Specifically, we used 1,068 age-matched longitudinal reports (Mage observations = 79 years, 49% women) of loneliness provided by independent samples recruited in the German city of Berlin in 1990 and 2010, n = 257 participants in the Berlin Aging Study (BASE) and n = 383 participants in Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II). Using multilevel models that orthogonalize between-person and within-person age effects, we examined how responses to items from the UCLA Loneliness Scale provided by observation-matched cohorts differed with age and across cohorts, and if those differences might be explained by a variety of individual factors. Results revealed that at age 79, the later-born BASE-II cohort reported substantially lower levels of loneliness than the earlier-born BASE cohort (d = -0.84), with cohort differences accounting for more than 14% of the variance in loneliness. Age trajectories, however, were parallel without evidence of cohort differences in rates of within-person age-related changes in loneliness. Differences in gender, education, cognitive functioning, and external control beliefs accounted for the lion's share of cohort-related differences in levels of loneliness. Results show that loneliness among older adults has shifted to markedly lower levels today, but the rate at which loneliness increases with age proceeds similarly as 2 decades ago. Future studies should investigate how psychosocial functioning across the life course is progressing in different sociohistorical contexts and in other age groups, such as younger and middle-aged adults. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2024 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/pag0000803

    View details for PubMedID 38900502

  • Postponing old age: Evidence for historical change toward a later perceived onset of old age. Psychology and aging Wettstein, M., Park, R., Kornadt, A. E., Wurm, S., Ram, N., Gerstorf, D. 2024

    Abstract

    "At what age would you describe someone as old?" Perceptions of when old age begins might be prone to upward shifts because of historical increases in life expectancy and in retirement age, as well as because of better psychosocial functioning in later life. We investigated historical changes in within-person trajectories of the perceived onset of old age using data from 14,056 participants who entered the German Ageing Survey at age 40-85 years and who completed up to eight assessments across 25 years. Using longitudinal multilevel regression models, we found that at age 64, the average perceived onset of old age is at about age 75 years. Longitudinally, this perceived onset age increased by about 1 year for every 4-5 years of actual aging. We also found evidence for historical change. Compared to the earliest-born cohorts, later-born cohorts reported a later perceived onset of old age, yet with decelerating trend among more recent birth cohorts. Within-person increases of the perceived onset of old age were steeper in later-born cohorts. The described cohort trends were only slightly reduced when controlling for covariates. Being younger, male, living in East Germany, feeling older, reporting more loneliness, more chronic diseases, and poorer self-rated health were each associated with a perceived earlier onset of old age. Our results suggest that there is a nonlinear historical trend toward a later perceived onset of old age, which might have meaningful implications for individuals' perspectives on aging and old age. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2024 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/pag0000812

    View details for PubMedID 38647449

  • Contamination bias in the estimation of child maltreatment causal effects on adolescent internalizing and externalizing behavior problems. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines Felt, J. M., Chimed-Ochir, U., Shores, K. A., Olson, A. E., Li, Y., Fisher, Z. F., Ram, N., Shenk, C. E. 2024

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: When unaddressed, contamination in child maltreatment research, in which some proportion of children recruited for a nonmaltreated comparison group are exposed to maltreatment, downwardly biases the significance and magnitude of effect size estimates. This study extends previous contamination research by investigating how a dual-measurement strategy of detecting and controlling contamination impacts causal effect size estimates of child behavior problems.METHODS: This study included 634 children from the LONGSCAN study with 63 cases of confirmed child maltreatment after age 8 and 571 cases without confirmed child maltreatment. Confirmed child maltreatment and internalizing and externalizing behaviors were recorded every 2years between ages 4 and 16. Contamination in the nonmaltreated comparison group was identified and controlled by either a prospective self-report assessment at ages 12, 14, and 16 or by a one-time retrospective self-report assessment at age 18. Synthetic control methods were used to establish causal effects and quantify the impact of contamination when it was not controlled, when it was controlled for by prospective self-reports, and when it was controlled for by retrospective self-reports.RESULTS: Rates of contamination ranged from 62% to 67%. Without controlling for contamination, causal effect size estimates for internalizing behaviors were not statistically significant. Causal effects only became statistically significant after controlling contamination identified from either prospective or retrospective reports and effect sizes increased by between 17% and 54%. Controlling contamination had a smaller impact on effect size increases for externalizing behaviors but did produce a statistically significant overall effect, relative to the model ignoring contamination, when prospective methods were used.CONCLUSIONS: The presence of contamination in a nonmaltreated comparison group can underestimate the magnitude and statistical significance of causal effect size estimates, especially when investigating internalizing behavior problems. Addressing contamination can facilitate the replication of results across studies.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/jcpp.13990

    View details for PubMedID 38634466

  • Examining Passively Collected Smartphone-Based Data in the Days Prior to Psychiatric Hospitalization for a Suicidal Crisis: Comparative Case Analysis. JMIR formative research Jacobucci, R., Ammerman, B., Ram, N. 2024; 8: e55999

    Abstract

    Digital phenotyping has seen a broad increase in application across clinical research; however, little research has implemented passive assessment approaches for suicide risk detection. There is a significant potential for a novel form of digital phenotyping, termed screenomics, which captures smartphone activity via screenshots.This paper focuses on a comprehensive case review of 2 participants who reported past 1-month active suicidal ideation, detailing their passive (ie, obtained via screenomics screenshot capture) and active (ie, obtained via ecological momentary assessment [EMA]) risk profiles that culminated in suicidal crises and subsequent psychiatric hospitalizations. Through this analysis, we shed light on the timescale of risk processes as they unfold before hospitalization, as well as introduce the novel application of screenomics within the field of suicide research.To underscore the potential benefits of screenomics in comprehending suicide risk, the analysis concentrates on a specific type of data gleaned from screenshots-text-captured prior to hospitalization, alongside self-reported EMA responses. Following a comprehensive baseline assessment, participants completed an intensive time sampling period. During this period, screenshots were collected every 5 seconds while one's phone was in use for 35 days, and EMA data were collected 6 times a day for 28 days. In our analysis, we focus on the following: suicide-related content (obtained via screenshots and EMA), risk factors theoretically and empirically relevant to suicide risk (obtained via screenshots and EMA), and social content (obtained via screenshots).Our analysis revealed several key findings. First, there was a notable decrease in EMA compliance during suicidal crises, with both participants completing fewer EMAs in the days prior to hospitalization. This contrasted with an overall increase in phone usage leading up to hospitalization, which was particularly marked by heightened social use. Screenomics also captured prominent precipitating factors in each instance of suicidal crisis that were not well detected via self-report, specifically physical pain and loneliness.Our preliminary findings underscore the potential of passively collected data in understanding and predicting suicidal crises. The vast number of screenshots from each participant offers a granular look into their daily digital interactions, shedding light on novel risks not captured via self-report alone. When combined with EMA assessments, screenomics provides a more comprehensive view of an individual's psychological processes in the time leading up to a suicidal crisis.

    View details for DOI 10.2196/55999

    View details for PubMedID 38506916

  • Variation in social media sensitivity across people and contexts. Scientific reports Vaid, S. S., Kroencke, L., Roshanaei, M., Talaifar, S., Hancock, J. T., Back, M. D., Gosling, S. D., Ram, N., Harari, G. M. 2024; 14 (1): 6571

    Abstract

    Social media impacts people's wellbeing in different ways, but relatively little is known about why this is the case. Here we introduce the construct of "social media sensitivity" to understand how social media and wellbeing associations differ across people and the contexts in which these platforms are used. In a month-long large-scale intensive longitudinal study (total n = 1632; total number of observations = 120,599), we examined for whom and under which circumstances social media was associated with positive and negative changes in social and affective wellbeing. Applying a combination of frequentist and Bayesian multilevel models, we found a small negative average association between social media use AND subsequent wellbeing, but the associations were heterogenous across people. People with psychologically vulnerable dispositions (e.g., those who were depressed, lonely, not satisfied with life) tended to experience heightened negative social media sensitivity in comparison to people who were not psychologically vulnerable. People also experienced heightened negative social media sensitivity when in certain types of places (e.g., in social places, in nature) and while around certain types of people (e.g., around family members, close ties), as compared to using social media in other contexts. Our results suggest that an understanding of the effects of social media on wellbeing should account for the psychological dispositions of social media users, and the physical and social contexts surrounding their use. We discuss theoretical and practical implications of social media sensitivity for scholars, policymakers, and those in the technology industry.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-024-55064-y

    View details for PubMedID 38503817

    View details for PubMedCentralID 6534991

  • The influence of spatial dimensions of virtual environments on attitudes and nonverbal behaviors during social interactions JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY Han, E., DeVeaux, C., Hancock, J. T., Ram, N., Harari, G. M., Bailenson, J. N. 2024; 95
  • Age-related emotional advantages in encountering novel situation in daily life. Psychology and aging Chu, L., Shavit, Y. Z., Ram, N., Carstensen, L. L. 2024; 39 (2): 113-125

    Abstract

    People encounter novel situations throughout their lives that contribute to the acquisition of knowledge and experience. However, novelty can be misaligned with goals and motivation in later adulthood according to socioemotional selectivity theory. This study investigated age differences in emotional reactions associated with novel experiences. Multilevel structural equation models were used to analyze experience-sampling data obtained from an adult sample of 375 participants aged 18-94 years who reported their current situation and momentary emotional experience five times per day for 7 days. On occasions where situations were rated as more novel, people reported reduced positive and increased negative emotion. Those who had more overall exposure to novel situations tended to have more negative emotional experiences in general. Contrary to our hypothesis, there were age differences in individuals' negative emotional reactivity to situations that are perceived as more novel, such that novel situations were reported as less negative among older adults. By applying theoretical understanding of age differences in motivation and well-being in adulthood, our findings illuminate aspects of situations that elicit negative emotions. Findings highlight age-related benefits in emotional well-being, consistent with socioemotional selectivity theory postulates, and further implies that older adults may not be novelty averse. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2024 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/pag0000798

    View details for PubMedID 38436654

  • Stability and change of optimism and pessimism in late midlife and old age across three independent studies. Psychology and aging Tetzner, J., Drewelies, J., Duezel, S., Demuth, I., Wagner, G. G., Lachman, M., Lindenberger, U., Ram, N., Gerstorf, D. 2024; 39 (1): 14-30

    Abstract

    Research across a number of different areas in psychology has long shown that optimism and pessimism are predictive of a number of important future life outcomes. Despite a vast literature on the correlates and consequences, we know very little about how optimism and pessimism change across adulthood and old age and the sociodemographic factors that are associated with individual differences in such trajectories. In the present study, we conducted (parallel) analyses of standard items from the Life Orientation Test (Scheier & Carver, 1985) in three comprehensive data sets: Two-wave data from both the Berlin Aging Study II (N = 1,423, aged 60-88; M = 70.4, SD = 3.70) and the Midlife in the U.S. Study (N = 1,810 aged 60-84; M = 69.12, SD = 6.47) as well as cross-sectional data from the Survey of Health, Aging, and Retirement (N = 17,087, aged 60-99; M = 70.19, SD = 7.53). Using latent change-regression models and locally weighted smoothing curves revealed that optimism is on average very stable after age 60, with some evidence in Survey of Health, Aging, and Retirement of lowered optimism in very old age. Consistent across the three independent studies, pessimism evinced on average modest increases, ranging between .25 and .50 SD per 10 years of age. Of the sociodemographic factors examined, higher levels of education revealed the most consistent associations with lower pessimism, whereas gender evinced more study-specific findings. We take our results to demonstrate that age-related trajectories and correlates thereof differ for optimism and pessimism. Older adults appear to preserve into older ages those levels of optimistic expectations they have had at 60 years of age and show only modest increases in pessimism. We discuss possible reasons for these findings. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2024 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/pag0000789

    View details for PubMedID 38358694

  • Promoting fluid intake to increase urine volume for kidney stone prevention: Protocol for a randomized controlled efficacy trial of the sipITintervention. Contemporary clinical trials Conroy, D. E., Marks, J., Cutshaw, A., Ram, N., Thomaz, E., Streeper, N. M. 2024: 107454

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: Risk of kidney stone recurrence can be reduced by increasing fluid intake and urine production but most patients fail to adhere to recommended clinical guidelines. Patients have indicated that common barriers to fluid intake include a lack of thirst, forgetting to drink, and not having access to water. We developed the sipIT intervention to support patients' fluid intake with semi-automated tracking (via a mobile app, connected water bottle and a smartwatch clockface that detects drinking gestures) and provision of just-in-time text message reminders to drink when they do not meet the hourly fluid intake goal needed to achieve the recommended volume. This trial evaluates the efficacy of sipIT for increasing urine output in patients at risk for recurrence of kidney stones.METHOD/DESIGN: Adults with a history of kidney stones and lab-verified low urine production (<2 L/day) will be randomly assigned to receive either usual care (education and encouragement to meet fluid intake guidelines) or usual care plus the sipIT intervention. The primary outcome is 24-h urine volume; secondary outcomes include urinary supersaturations, past week fluid intake, and experienced automaticity of fluid intake. Outcomes will be assessed at baseline, 1 month, 3 months, and 12 months.CONCLUSIONS: The sipIT intervention is the first to prompt periodic fluid intake through integration of just-in-time notifications and semi-automated tracking. If sipIT is more efficacious than usual care, this intervention provides an innovative treatment option for patients needing support in meeting fluid intake guidelines for kidney stone prevention.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cct.2024.107454

    View details for PubMedID 38253254

  • A multi-sample evaluation of the measurement structure and function of the modified monetary incentive delay task in adolescents. Developmental cognitive neuroscience Demidenko, M. I., Mumford, J. A., Ram, N., Poldrack, R. A. 2023; 65: 101337

    Abstract

    Interpreting the neural response elicited during task functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) remains a challenge in neurodevelopmental research. The monetary incentive delay (MID) task is an fMRI reward processing task that is extensively used in the literature. However, modern psychometric tools have not been used to evaluate measurement properties of the MID task fMRI data. The current study uses data for a similar task design across three adolescent samples (N=346 [Agemean 12.0; 44 % Female]; N=97 [19.3; 58 %]; N=112 [20.2; 38 %]) to evaluate multiple measurement properties of fMRI responses on the MID task. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) is used to evaluate an a priori theoretical model for the task and its measurement invariance across three samples. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) is used to identify the data-driven measurement structure across the samples. CFA results suggest that the a priori model is a poor representation of these MID task fMRI data. Across the samples, the data-driven EFA models consistently identify a six-to-seven factor structure with run and bilateral brain region factors. This factor structure is moderately-to-highly congruent across the samples. Altogether, these findings demonstrate a need to evaluate theoretical frameworks for popular fMRI task designs to improve our understanding and interpretation of brain-behavior associations.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.dcn.2023.101337

    View details for PubMedID 38160517

  • Contamination in Observational Research on Child Maltreatment: A Conceptual and Empirical Review With Implications for Future Research. Child maltreatment Shenk, C. E., Shores, K. A., Ram, N., Felt, J. M., Chimed-Ochir, U., Olson, A. E., Fisher, Z. F. 2023: 10775595231224472

    Abstract

    Contamination is a methodological phenomenon occurring in child maltreatment research when individuals in an established comparison condition have, in reality, been exposed to maltreatment during childhood. The current paper: (1) provides a conceptual and methodological introduction to contamination in child maltreatment research, (2) reviews the empirical literature demonstrating that the presence of contamination biases causal estimates in both prospective and retrospective cohort studies of child maltreatment effects, (3) outlines a dual measurement strategy for how child maltreatment researchers can address contamination, and (4) describes modern statistical methods for generating causal estimates in child maltreatment research after contamination is controlled. Our goal is to introduce the issue of contamination to researchers examining the effects of child maltreatment in an effort to improve the precision and replication of causal estimates that ultimately inform scientific and clinical decision-making as well as public policy.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/10775595231224472

    View details for PubMedID 38146950

  • Studying Daily Social Interaction Quantity and Quality in Relation to Depression Change: A Multi-Phase Experience Sampling Study. Personality & social psychology bulletin Elmer, T., Ram, N., Gloster, A. T., Bringmann, L. F. 2023: 1461672231211469

    Abstract

    Day-to-day social life and mental health are intertwined. Yet, no study to date has assessed how the quantity and quality of social interactions in daily life are associated with changes in depressive symptoms. This study examines these links using multiple-timescale data (iSHAIB data set; N = 133), where the level of depressive symptoms was measured before and after three 21-day periods of event-contingent experience sampling of individuals' interpersonal interactions (T = 64,112). We find weak between-person effects for interaction quantity and perceiving interpersonal warmth of others on changes in depressive symptoms over the 21-day period, but strong and robust evidence for overwarming-a novel construct representing the self-perceived difference between one's own and interaction partner's level of interpersonal warmth. The findings highlight the important role qualitative aspects of social interactions may play in the progression of individuals' depressive symptoms.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/01461672231211469

    View details for PubMedID 38098172

  • The effect of hair type and texture on electroencephalography and event-related potential data quality. Psychophysiology Lees, T., Ram, N., Swingler, M. M., Gatzke-Kopp, L. M. 2023: e14499

    Abstract

    Research utilizing event-related potential (ERP) methods is generally biased with regard to sample representativeness. Among the myriad of factors that contribute to sample bias are researchers' assumptions about the extent to which racial differences in hair texture, volume, and style impact electrode placement, and subsequently, study eligibility. The current study examines these impacts using data collected from n = 213 individuals ages 17-19 years, and offers guidance on collection of ERP data across the full spectrum of hair types. Individual differences were quantified for hair texture using a visual scale, and for hair volume by measuring the amount of gel used in cap preparation. Electroencephalography data quality was assessed with multiple metrics at the preprocessing, post-processing, and variable generation stages. Results indicate that hair volume is associated with small, but systematic differences in signal quality and signal amplitude. Such differences are highly problematic as they could be misattributed to cognitive differences among groups. However, inclusion of gel volume as a covariate to account for individual differences in hair volume significantly reduced, and in most cases eliminated, group differences. We discuss strategies for overcoming real and perceived technical barriers for researchers seeking to achieve greater inclusivity and representativeness in ERP research.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/psyp.14499

    View details for PubMedID 38084752

  • Color-Encoded Links Improve Homophily Perception in Node-Link Diagrams. IEEE transactions on visualization and computer graphics Reimann, D., Schulz, A., Ram, N., Gaschler, R. 2023; 29 (12): 5593-5598

    Abstract

    Node-link diagrams enable visual assessment of homophily when viewers can identify and evaluate the relative number of intra-cluster and inter-cluster links. Our online experiment shows that a new design with link type encoded edge color leads to more accurate perception of homophily than a design with same-color edges.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TVCG.2022.3221014

    View details for PubMedID 36355720

  • Balancing media selections over time: Emotional valence, informational content, and time intervals of use. Heliyon Cho, M. J., Reeves, B., Ram, N., Robinson, T. N. 2023; 9 (12): e22816

    Abstract

    The sequencing of information in media can influence processing of content via mechanisms like framing, mood management, and emotion regulation. This study examined three kinds of media sequences on smartphones: (1) balancing positive and negative emotional content; (2) balancing emotional content with informational content; and (3) balancing time spent on and off the media device. Actual media use was measured in natural settings using the Screenomics framework which gathers screenshots from smartphones every 5 s when devices are on. Time-series analyses of 223,531 smartphone sessions recorded from 94 participants showed that emotionally positive content was more likely to follow negative content, and that emotionally negative content was more likely to follow positive content; emotional content was more likely to follow informational content, and informational content was more likely to follow emotional content; and longer smartphone sessions were more likely to follow longer periods of non-use.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e22816

    View details for PubMedID 38125545

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10731070

  • Centering Student Voice to Inform Teacher Practice and Research: Validation of an Asset-Based Identities Measure JOURNAL OF PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT Lopez, F., Gray, D., Boveda, M., Oviedo, D., Ram, N., Lopez, L. 2023
  • Epigenetic age acceleration as a biomarker for impaired cognitive abilities in adulthood following early life adversity and psychiatric disorders. Neurobiology of stress Felt, J. M., Yusupov, N., Harrington, K. D., Fietz, J., Zhang, Z. Z., Sliwinski, M. J., Ram, N., O'Donnell, K. J., BeCOME Working Group, Meaney, M. J., Putnam, F. W., Noll, J. G., Binder, E. B., Shenk, C. E. 2023; 27: 100577

    Abstract

    Background: Early life adversity and psychiatric disorders are associated with earlier declines in neurocognitive abilities during adulthood. These declines may be preceded by changes in biological aging, specifically epigenetic age acceleration, providing an opportunity to uncover genome-wide biomarkers that identify individuals most likely to benefit from early screening and prevention.Methods: Five unique epigenetic age acceleration clocks derived from peripheral blood were examined in relation to latent variables of general and speeded cognitive abilities across two independent cohorts: 1) the Female Growth and Development Study (FGDS; n=86), a 30-year prospective cohort study of substantiated child sexual abuse and non-abused controls, and 2) the Biological Classification of Mental Disorders study (BeCOME; n=313), an adult community cohort established based on psychiatric disorders.Results: A faster pace of biological aging (DunedinPoAm) was associated with lower general cognitive abilities in both cohorts and slower speeded abilities in the BeCOME cohort. Acceleration in the Horvath clock was significantly associated with slower speeded abilities in the BeCOME cohort but not the FGDS. Acceleration in the Hannum clock and the GrimAge clock were not significantly associated with either cognitive ability. Accelerated PhenoAge was associated with slower speeded abilities in the FGDS but not the BeCOME cohort.Conclusions: The present results suggest that epigenetic age acceleration has the potential to serve as a biomarker for neurocognitive decline in adults with a history of early life adversity or psychiatric disorders. Estimates of epigenetic aging may identify adults at risk of cognitive decline that could benefit from early neurocognitive screening.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ynstr.2023.100577

    View details for PubMedID 37885906

  • Long-term aging trajectories of the accumulation of disease burden as predictors of daily affect dynamics and stressor reactivity. Psychology and aging Gerstorf, D., Schilling, O. K., Pauly, T., Katzorreck, M., Lücke, A. J., Wahl, H. W., Kunzmann, U., Hoppmann, C. A., Ram, N. 2023

    Abstract

    Multiple-timescale studies provide new opportunities to examine how developmental processes that evolve at different cadences are intertwined. Developmental theories of emotion regulation suggest that the long-term, slowly evolving age-related accumulation of disease burden should shape short-term, faster evolving (daily) affective experiences. To empirically examine this proposition, we combined data from 123 old adults (65-69 years, 47% women) and 32 very old adults (85-88 years, 59% women) who provided 20 + year within-person longitudinal data on physician-rated morbidity and subsequently also completed repeated daily-life assessments of stress and affect six times a day over 7 consecutive days as they were going about their daily-life routines. Results from models that simultaneously articulate growth and intraindividual variability processes (in a dynamic structural equation modeling framework) revealed that individual differences in long-term aging trajectories of the accumulation of disease burden were indeed predictive of differences in three facets of affective dynamics that manifest in everyday life. In particular-over and above mean levels of disease burden-older adults whose disease burden had increased more over the past 20 years had higher base level of negative affect in their daily lives, more emotional reactivity to the experience of daily stressors, and more moment-to-moment fluctuations in negative affect that was unrelated to stressors (affective systemic noise). We highlight that developmental processes evolving over vastly different timescales are intertwined, and speculate how new knowledge about those relations can inform developmental theories of emotion regulation and daily-life functioning. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/pag0000779

    View details for PubMedID 37824238

  • Modeling BMI z score lability during childhood as a function of child temperament and genetic risk for obesity. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.) Liu, C., Neiderhiser, J. M., Ram, N., Leve, L. D., Shaw, D. S., Natsuaki, M. N., Reiss, D., Ganiban, J. M. 2023; 31 (10): 2593-2602

    Abstract

    This study aimed to examine whether child genetic risk for obesity and temperament (i.e., negative affectivity, effortful control) accounted for stability versus lability in children's weight status (BMI z score) over time.A total of 561 adopted children (42% female; 56% Caucasian, 13% African American, 11% Latino, and 20% other) and their birth and adoptive parents were followed from birth to age 9 years. The multilevel location-scale model was used to examine whether child genetic risk for obesity and temperament were related to differences in level and lability in child BMI z scores over time.For the full sample, higher levels of child negative affectivity were associated with greater BMI z score lability, whereas higher levels of effortful control and children's mean-level BMI z scores were related to less lability across childhood. Additional analyses examined associations within groups of children with healthy versus overweight/obesity weight statuses. Within the healthy weight status group only, better effortful control was associated with more stable BMI z scores, whereas genetic risk for higher BMI was associated with more labile BMI z scores.These findings provide insights into factors that can be harnessed to redirect unhealthy trajectories as well as factors that may challenge redirection or maintain a healthy trajectory.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/oby.23867

    View details for PubMedID 37724056

  • Modeling categorical time-to-event data: The example of social interaction dynamics captured with event-contingent experience sampling methods. Psychological methods Elmer, T., van Duijn, M. A., Ram, N., Bringmann, L. F. 2023

    Abstract

    The depth of information collected in participants' daily lives with active (e.g., experience sampling surveys) and passive (e.g., smartphone sensors) ambulatory measurement methods is immense. When measuring participants' behaviors in daily life, the timing of particular events-such as social interactions-is often recorded. These data facilitate the investigation of new types of research questions about the timing of those events, including whether individuals' affective state is associated with the rate of social interactions (binary event occurrence) and what types of social interactions are likely to occur (multicategory event occurrences, e.g., interactions with friends or family). Although survival analysis methods have been used to analyze time-to-event data in longitudinal settings for several decades, these methods have not yet been incorporated into ambulatory assessment research. This article illustrates how multilevel and multistate survival analysis methods can be used to model the social interaction dynamics captured in intensive longitudinal data, specifically when individuals exhibit particular categories of behavior. We provide an introduction to these models and a tutorial on how the timing and type of social interactions can be modeled using the R statistical programming language. Using event-contingent reports (N = 150, Nevents = 64,112) obtained in an ambulatory study of interpersonal interactions, we further exemplify an empirical application case. In sum, this article demonstrates how survival models can advance the understanding of (social interaction) dynamics that unfold in daily life. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/met0000598

    View details for PubMedID 37676164

  • The Affective Dynamics of Everyday Digital Life: Opening Computational Possibility. Affective science Rocklin, M. L., Garròn Torres, A. A., Reeves, B., Robinson, T. N., Ram, N. 2023; 4 (3): 529-540

    Abstract

    Up to now, there was no way to observe and track the affective impacts of the massive amount of complex visual stimuli that people encounter "in the wild" during their many hours of digital life. In this paper, we propose and illustrate how recent advances in AI-trained ensembles of deep neural networks-can be deployed on new data streams that are long sequences of screenshots of study participants' smartphones obtained unobtrusively during everyday life. We obtained affective valence and arousal ratings of hundreds of images drawn from existing picture repositories often used in psychological studies, and a new screenshot repository chronicling individuals' everyday digital life from both N = 832 adults and an affect computation model (Parry & Vuong, 2021). Results and analysis suggest that (a) our sample rates images similarly to other samples used in psychological studies, (b) the affect computation model is able to assign valence and arousal ratings similarly to humans, and (c) the resulting computational pipeline can be deployed at scale to obtain detailed maps of the affective space individuals travel through on their smartphones. Leveraging innovative methods for tracking the emotional content individuals encounter on their smartphones, we open the possibility for large-scale studies of how the affective dynamics of everyday digital life shape individuals' moment-to-moment experiences and well-being.The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s42761-023-00202-4.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s42761-023-00202-4

    View details for PubMedID 37744988

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10514010

  • Examining individual differences in how interaction behaviors change over time: A dyadic multinomial logistic growth modeling approach. Psychological methods Brinberg, M., Bodie, G. D., Solomon, D. H., Jones, S. M., Ram, N. 2023

    Abstract

    Several theoretical perspectives suggest that dyadic experiences are distinguished by patterns of behavioral change that emerge during interactions. Methods for examining change in behavior over time are well elaborated for the study of change along continuous dimensions. Extensions for charting increases and decreases in individuals' use of specific, categorically defined behaviors, however, are rarely invoked. Greater accessibility of Bayesian frameworks that facilitate formulation and estimation of the requisite models is opening new possibilities. This article provides a primer on how multinomial logistic growth models can be used to examine between-dyad differences in within-dyad behavioral change over the course of an interaction. We describe and illustrate how these models are implemented in the Bayesian framework using data from support conversations between strangers (N = 118 dyads) to examine (RQ1) how six types of listeners' and disclosers' behaviors change as support conversations unfold and (RQ2) how the disclosers' preconversation distress moderates the change in conversation behaviors. The primer concludes with a series of notes on (a) implications of modeling choices, (b) flexibility in modeling nonlinear change, (c) necessity for theory that specifies how and why change trajectories differ, and (d) how multinomial logistic growth models can help refine current theory about dyadic interaction. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/met0000605

    View details for PubMedID 37561491

  • The Affective Dynamics of Everyday Digital Life: Opening Computational Possibility AFFECTIVE SCIENCE Rocklin, M. L., Torres, A., Reeves, B., Robinson, T. N., Ram, N. 2023
  • A Dynamic Dyadic Systems Perspective on Interpersonal Conversation COMMUNICATION METHODS AND MEASURES Solomon, D., Brinberg, M., Bodie, G., Jones, S., Ram, N. 2023
  • Lollipops Help Align Visual and Statistical Fit Estimates in Scatterplots With Nonlinear Models. IEEE transactions on visualization and computer graphics Reimann, D., Ram, N., Gaschler, R. 2023; 29 (7): 3436-3440

    Abstract

    Scatterplots overlayed with a nonlinear model enable visual estimation of model-data fit. Although statistical fit is calculated using vertical distances, viewers' subjective fit is often based on shortest distances. Our results suggest that adding vertical lines ("lollipops") supports more accurate fit estimation in the steep area of model curves (https://osf.io/fybx5/).

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TVCG.2022.3158093

    View details for PubMedID 35263256

  • Feasibility of mini sipIT Behavioral Intervention to Increase Urine Volume in Patients with Kidney Stones. Urology Streeper, N. M., Fairbourn, J. D., Marks, J., Thomaz, E., Ram, N., Conroy, D. E. 2023

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVES: To determine the feasibility and acceptability of mini sipIT, a context-sensitive reminder system that incorporates a connected water bottle and mobile app with text messaging, for kidney stone patients who have poor adherence to increasing fluid intake for prevention.METHODS: Patients with a history of kidney stones and urine volume < 2 liters/day participated in a 1-month single-group feasibility trial. Patients used a connected water bottle and received text message reminders when fluid intake goals weren't met. Perceptions of drinking behavior, intervention acceptability and 24-hour urine volumes were obtained at baseline and 1-month.RESULTS: Patients with a history of kidney stones were enrolled (n = 26, 77% female, age = 50.4 ± 14.2 years). Over 90% of patients used the bottle or app daily. Most patients perceived that mini sipIT intervention helped them to increase their fluid intake (85%) and reach their fluid intake goals (65%). There was a significant increase in average 24-hour urine volume after the 1-month intervention compared to baseline (2006.5 ± 980.8 mL vs. 1352.7 ± 449.9 mL, t (25) = 3.66, p =.001, g = 0.78), with 73% of patients having higher 24-hour urine volumes at the end of the trial.CONCLUSIONS: Mini sipIT behavioral intervention and outcome assessments are feasible for patients and may lead to significant increases in 24-hour urine volume. Digital tools in combination with behavioral science may improve adherence to fluid intake recommendations for kidney stone prevention, however rigorous efficacy trials are necessary.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.urology.2023.06.019

    View details for PubMedID 37393020

  • Age differences in emotional experiences associated with helping and learning at work. Psychology and aging Chi, K., Ram, N., Carstensen, L. L. 2023

    Abstract

    Drawing on socioemotional selectivity theory and goal theories of emotion, this study examined age differences in helping and learning activities at work and the emotional correlates of such activities. We hypothesized that older workers help colleagues more than younger workers and derive greater emotional benefits from helping; and that younger workers learn more often at work and derive greater emotional benefits from learning. Frequency of employees' (N = 365; age 18-78 years) helping, learning, and emotional experience were monitored for 5 days using a modified day reconstruction method. We found that older workers engaged in helping more than younger workers and reported greater positive emotions from helping. Contrary to our hypothesis, younger and older workers engaged in learning activities at similar frequencies. However, in line with our hypothesis, learning was associated with more positive emotions for younger workers. Findings suggest thoughtful consideration of how to optimize work activities and practices that promote emotional well-being of both younger and older workers. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/pag0000756

    View details for PubMedID 37289515

  • Younger Than Ever? Subjective Age Is Becoming Younger and Remains More Stable in Middle-Age and Older Adults Today. Psychological science Wettstein, M., Wahl, H., Drewelies, J., Wurm, S., Huxhold, O., Ram, N., Gerstorf, D. 2023: 9567976231164553

    Abstract

    Little is known about historical shifts in subjective age (i.e., how old individuals feel). Moving beyond the very few time-lagged cross-sectional cohort comparisons, we examined historical shifts in within-person trajectories of subjective age from midlife to advanced old age. We used cohort-comparative longitudinal data from middle-age and older adults in the German Ageing Survey (N = 14,928; ~50% female) who lived in Germany and were between 40 and 85 years old when entering the study. They provided up to seven observations over 24 years. Results revealed that being born later in historical time is associated with feeling younger by 2% every birth-year decade and with less intraindividual change toward an older subjective age. Women reported feeling younger than men; this gender gap widened across cohorts. The association of higher education with younger subjective age became weaker across cohorts. Potential reasons for the subjective-rejuvenation effect across cohorts are discussed.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/09567976231164553

    View details for PubMedID 37071708

  • Media Production on Smartphones: Analysis of the Timing, Content, and Context of Message Production Using Real-World Smartphone Use Data. Cyberpsychology, behavior and social networking Cho, M. J., Reeves, B., Robinson, T. N., Ram, N. 2023

    Abstract

    Although media production is a critical concept in communication theory, we know surprisingly little about the timing, content, and context of individuals' production behavior. Intensive observation and analysis of 94 American adults' smartphone use over 1 week showed that although time spent in producing content was on average only about 6 percent of the amount of time spent on smartphones, the production content was more purposeful, expressive, articulate, condensed, confident, personal, and emotionally charged than consumption content. Analysis of the temporal dynamics of production suggests that the content consumed in the minute before individuals' production began to resemble the subsequently produced content. Other results suggest that content production on smartphones was fragmented, idiosyncratic, and purposeful, highlighting the impact of individuals' quick interactions with media, and the need to develop user-centric theories about how, when, and why individuals produce digital content.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/cyber.2021.0350

    View details for PubMedID 37015079

  • EPIGENETIC AGE ACCELERATION AT MIDLIFE IS SENSITIVE TO CHANGES IN RECEPTIVE LANGUAGE ABILITIES FOLLOWING CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE Felt, J. M., Harrington, K. D., Ram, N., O'Donnell, K. J., Sliwinski, M. J., Benson, L., Zhang, Z., Meaney, M. J., Putnam, F. W., Noll, J. G., Shenk, C. E. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC. 2023: S239
  • Investigating the developmental timing of self-regulation in early childhood. International journal of behavioral development Green, L. M., Genaro, B. G., Ratcliff, K. A., Cole, P. M., Ram, N. 2023; 47 (2): 101-110

    Abstract

    Self-regulation often refers to the executive influence of cognitive resources to alter prepotent responses. The ability to engage cognitive resources as a form of executive process emerges and improves in the preschool-age years while the dominance of prepotent responses, such as emotional reactions, begins to decline from toddlerhood onward. However, little direct empirical evidence addresses the timing of an age-related increase in executive processes and a decrease in age-related prepotent responses over the course of early childhood. To address this gap, we examined children's individual trajectories of change in prepotent responses and executive processes over time. At four age points (24 months, 36 months, 48 months, and 5 years), we observed children (46% female) during a procedure in which mothers were busy with work and told their children they had to wait to open a gift. Prepotent responses included children's interest in and desire for the gift and their anger about the wait. Executive processes included children's use of focused distraction, which is the strategy considered optimal for self-regulation in a waiting task. We examined individual differences in the timing of age-related changes in the proportion of time spent expressing a prepotent response and engaging executive processes using a series of nonlinear (generalized logistic) growth models. As hypothesized, the average proportion of time children expressed prepotent responses decreased with age, and the average proportion of time engaged in executive processes increased with age. Individual differences in the developmental timing of changes in prepotent responses and executive process were correlated r = .35 such that the timing of decrease in proportion of time expressing prepotent responses was coupled with the timing of increase in proportion of time engaging executive processes.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/01650254221111788

    View details for PubMedID 36865026

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC9974174

  • PTSD Symptom Cluster Severity Predicts Momentary Emotion Dynamics During Couple Conversations BEHAVIOR THERAPY Fredman, S. J., Fischer, M. S., Baucom, D. H., Le, Y., Taverna, E. C., Chow, S., Ram, N., Marshall, A. D. 2023; 54 (2): 330-345
  • PTSD Symptom Cluster Severity Predicts Momentary Emotion Dynamics During Couple Conversations. Behavior therapy Fredman, S. J., Fischer, M. S., Baucom, D. H., Le, Y., Taverna, E. C., Chow, S., Ram, N., Marshall, A. D. 2023; 54 (2): 330-345

    Abstract

    This study investigated the associations between momentary emotion dynamics and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Using a sample of 61 couples (N = 122 individuals) in which all individuals were trauma exposed and at least one partner screened positive for PTSD, we examined the intra- and interpersonal regulation of vocally encoded emotional arousal (fundamental frequency [f0]) and how these momentary emotion regulatory patterns relate to specific PTSD symptoms during two couple conversations: one designed to elicit conflict and one to elicit intimacy. PTSD symptoms were assessed using a gold standard clinical interview. In both conversations, higher reexperiencing symptoms were associated with greater emotional inertia (i.e., more resistance to change in emotional state following deviation from one's emotional equilibrium), and higher avoidance symptoms were associated with less emotional inertia (i.e., quicker return to emotional equilibrium). In the intimacy conversations, individuals also responded to their partners' arousal. Furthermore, individuals whose partners exhibited higher emotional numbing symptoms exhibited more emotional inertia, suggesting that emotion regulation may be a function of both one's own and one's partner's PTSD symptoms. Attending to the interpersonal context of emotion dynamics during PTSD treatment may enhance outcomes.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.beth.2022.09.004

    View details for PubMedID 36858763

  • Digital Trace Data Collection for Social Media Effects Research: APIs, Data Donation, and (Screen) Tracking COMMUNICATION METHODS AND MEASURES Ohme, J., Araujo, T., Boeschoten, L., Freelon, D., Ram, N., Reeves, B. B., Robinson, T. N. 2023
  • People, places, and time: a large-scale, longitudinal study of transformed avatars and environmental context in group interaction in the metaverse JOURNAL OF COMPUTER-MEDIATED COMMUNICATION Han, E., Miller, M. R., DeVeaux, C., Jun, H., Nowak, K. L., Hancock, J. T., Ram, N., Bailenson, J. N. 2023; 28 (2)
  • Is Detecting Discontinuity Difficult? Evidence from the Visual Trend Classification of Scatterplots AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY Blech, C., Reimann, D., Ram, N., Gaschler, R. 2023; 136 (1): 1-19
  • A Large-Scale Study of Proxemics and Gaze in Groups Miller, M., DeVeaux, C., Han, E., Ram, N., Bailenson, J. N., IEEE IEEE COMPUTER SOC. 2023: 409-417
  • Typicality effect in data graphs VISUAL COMMUNICATION Reimann, D., Struwe, M., Ram, N., Gaschler, R. 2022
  • Beyond Big Five Trait Domains: Stability and Change in Personality Facets across Midlife and Old Age. Journal of personality Brandt, N. D., Drewelies, J., Willis, S. L., Schaie, K. W., Ram, N., Gerstorf, D., Wagner, J. 2022

    Abstract

    Accumulated evidence indicates both stable and malleable parts of inter-individual differences in the broad Big Five domains. Less is known, however, about stability and change at the more diversified facet level. With the current study, we fill this gap by investigating personality stability and change across midlife and old age.We apply local structural equation measurement models and second-order growth curve models to four waves of data obtained with the full NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) collected over 11 years from 1,667 adults (Mage =62.69 years, SDage =15.62, 55% female) who participated in the Seattle Longitudinal Study.Measurement invariance analyses indicated that the psychometric properties of the NEO-PI-R facets are comparable across time and age. Results revealed substantial rank-order stabilities across all facets, yet the exact pattern varied strongly between facets of the same trait and across traits. Mean-level change of facets from midlife to old age largely mirrored the mean-level change observed for the broader traits.We discuss conceptual implications and argue that in the face of overall stability across midlife and old age, changes in the rank-ordering of people reveals a much more complex and diverse pattern of development than analyses at the trait level suggest.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/jopy.12791

    View details for PubMedID 36325745

  • Today's Older Adults Are Cognitively Fitter Than Older Adults Were 20 Years Ago, but When and How They Decline Is No Different Than in the Past. Psychological science Gerstorf, D., Ram, N., Drewelies, J., Duezel, S., Eibich, P., Steinhagen-Thiessen, E., Liebig, S., Goebel, J., Demuth, I., Villringer, A., Wagner, G. G., Lindenberger, U., Ghisletta, P. 2022: 9567976221118541

    Abstract

    History-graded increases in older adults' levels of cognitive performance are well documented, but little is known about historical shifts in within-person change: cognitive decline and onset of decline. We combined harmonized perceptual-motor speed data from independent samples recruited in 1990 and 2010 to obtain 2,008 age-matched longitudinal observations (M = 78 years, 50% women) from 228 participants in the Berlin Aging Study (BASE) and 583 participants in the Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II). We used nonlinear growth models that orthogonalized within- and between-person age effects and controlled for retest effects. At age 78, the later-born BASE-II cohort substantially outperformed the earlier-born BASE cohort (d = 1.20; 25 years of age difference). Age trajectories, however, were parallel, and there was no evidence of cohort differences in the amount or rate of decline and the onset of decline. Cognitive functioning has shifted to higher levels, but cognitive decline in old age appears to proceed similarly as it did two decades ago.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/09567976221118541

    View details for PubMedID 36282991

  • Receptive Language Abilities for Females Exposed to Early Life Adversity: Modification by Epigenetic Age Acceleration at Midlife in a 30-year Prospective Cohort Study. The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences Felt, J. M., Harrington, K. D., Ram, N., O'Donnell, K. J., Sliwinski, M. J., Benson, L., Zhang, Z., Meaney, M. J., Putnam, F. W., Noll, J. G., Shenk, C. E. 2022

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVES: Deviations from normative trajectories of receptive language abilities following early life adversity (ELA) may indicate an elevated risk for advanced cognitive aging and related morbidities. Accelerated epigenetic aging at midlife may further identify those at greatest risk for advanced cognitive aging following ELA. We examined whether accelerations in epigenetic aging at midlife can identify those individuals who demonstrated the greatest change in receptive language abilities following ELA.METHODS: Data were drawn from the Female Growth and Development Study (n = 86), a thirty-year prospective cohort study of females exposed to substantiated child sexual abuse (CSA), a severe ELA, and a non-CSA comparison condition. The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised (PPVT-R) measured receptive language abilities on six occasions from childhood to mid-life. Interindividual differences in PPVT-R trajectories were examined in relation to CSA exposure and across five independent measures of epigenetic age acceleration derived from first (Horvath DNAmAge, Hannum DNAmAge) and second (GrimAge, PhenoAge, Dunedin Pace of Aging) generation epigenetic clocks.RESULTS: Quadratic growth models revealed that PPVT-R scores were significantly lower at age 25 for females exposed to CSA. Specifically, CSA exposed females had lower intercepts when GrimAge was accelerated and a smaller quadratic trend when PhenoAge was accelerated.DISCUSSION: ELA is associated with significant differences in development of receptive language abilities with the most pronounced differences observed for females with accelerated epigenetic ages at mid-life. These findings suggest that epigenetic age acceleration could serve as an indicator of differences in cognitive aging and portend to later adulthood cognitive functioning.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/geronb/gbac158

    View details for PubMedID 36190812

  • The psychology of poverty and life online: natural experiments on the effects of smartphone payday loan ads on psychological stress INFORMATION COMMUNICATION & SOCIETY Lee, J., Hamilton, J. T., Ram, N., Roehrick, K., Reeves, B. 2022
  • Good Night-Good Day? Bidirectional Links of Daily Sleep Quality With Negative Affect and Stress Reactivity in Old Age PSYCHOLOGY AND AGING Luecke, A. J., Wrzus, C., Gerstorf, D., Kunzmann, U., Katzorreck, M., Kolodziejczak, K., Ram, N., Hoppmann, C., Schilling, O. K. 2022

    Abstract

    Bidirectional links between sleep quality and emotional experiences are complex and not yet well understood-especially in old age when substantial changes occur in sleep and emotional experiences. Because previous research rarely considered the role of stressors, we examine if older adults' sleep quality is directly associated with subsequent negative affect (NA) or more indirectly via affective reactivity to stressors. Specifically, we investigate whether and how older adults' sleep quality predicts negative affect and affective reactivity to stress on the following day, and vice versa. For seven consecutive days, 325 older adults (61-90 years, 49% women) reported their sleep quality each morning as well as momentary negative affect and stressful events multiple times a day. Results from multilevel structural equation models showed that after nights of lower sleep quality, older adults reported more negative affect, but not higher affective reactivity to stressors. In turn, after days with increased affective reactivity but not more negative affect, participants reported worse sleep quality. We discuss whether older adults are able to regulate the effects of low sleep quality, but have difficulties downregulating stress and its effects on sleep. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/pag0000704

    View details for Web of Science ID 000849037900001

    View details for PubMedID 36066847

  • Investigating the developmental timing of self-regulation in early childhood INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL DEVELOPMENT Green, L. M., Genaro, B. G., Ratcliff, K., Cole, P. M., Ram, N. 2022
  • The Role of Strategy-Use and Parasympathetic Functioning in Maternal Emotion Regulation JOURNAL OF FAMILY PSYCHOLOGY Zhang, X., Gatzke-Kopp, L. M., Cole, P. M., Ram, N. 2022

    Abstract

    Research has recognized that parental emotion regulation influences whether parents respond sensitively to their children in challenging parenting situations. However, parental emotion regulation is usually assessed using questionnaires that are not about parenting, rather than through examining parents' reaction to specific parenting situations that might evoke negative emotions. This study investigates individual differences in mothers' emotion regulation during parenting, specifically examining the relation between their subjective negative emotions and observed parenting behaviors and whether this relation is moderated by cognitive (strategies to manage negative emotions) and physiological (resting baseline and reactivity of respiratory sinus arrhythmia; RSA) processes. Data of 157 mothers' self-reported negative emotions and strategy-use, their RSA, observed maternal responsiveness, and their preschool-age children's (30-60 months, 49.7% female) challenging behaviors were collected during a Wait Task, in which mothers told children to wait before opening an appealing gift. Regression analysis indicated that, after controlling for how challenging children were, mothers' level of negative emotion was not associated with observed level of maternal responsiveness. In line with hypotheses, the association was moderated by mothers' resting RSA and the extent to which they suppressed negative emotions. However, contrary to hypotheses, the association was not moderated by use of reappraisal, distraction, or rumination, or RSA reactivity. The significant findings suggest that, although mothers' subjective experiences of negative emotions are not necessarily related to less responsive parenting behaviors, the link between maternal emotions and parenting behavior may indicate differences in how mothers engage cognitive strategies as well as their physiological regulation capacity. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/fam0001017

    View details for Web of Science ID 000827801400001

    View details for PubMedID 35862081

  • Adolescent Substance Use Behavior Change Through School Intervention Is Improved by Teacher and School Implementation Support Together, Especially for Girls. Prevention science : the official journal of the Society for Prevention Research Layland, E. K., Caldwell, L. L., Ram, N., Smith, E. A., Wegner, L., Jacobs, J. J. 2022

    Abstract

    An earlier trial of a school-based, preventative intervention, HealthWise South Africa, demonstrated some efficacy in preventing adolescent drinking and smoking in the Western Cape, South Africa. This was followed by the current implementation trial, which examined how implementation support conditions influenced adolescent drinking and smoking behavior change in the HealthWise intervention. The hybridized implementation-effectiveness trial included 34 schools (n=2175 students) that provided student data at four waves through Grades 8 to 10. Implementation support conditions included a combination of two components (enhanced school environment and teacher consultation), resulting in four conditions: enhanced school environment, teacher consultation, both components, and standard delivery. Using configural frequency analysis, we examined how drinking and smoking behavior change differed across four configurations of intervention support longitudinally and by gender. For baseline non-smokers, results indicated sustained differences in abstention from smoking and smoking initiation between schools that received both support components and schools in the standard delivery condition. These results were primarily driven by girls. For baseline drinkers and smokers in the both components condition, changes in drinking were delayed until Grade 9 and smoking decayed by Grade 10. Results suggest that providing both school and teacher implementation support synergistically facilitates improved intervention outcomes both immediately following intervention and 2years later across schools with diverse resource levels. Future iterations of HealthWise, and other interventions, may benefit from a multilevel implementation support strategy to improve student outcomes. More research is needed to understand how to improve HealthWise effectiveness among boys.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11121-022-01394-0

    View details for PubMedID 35713739

  • The Influence of Children's Effortful Control on Parent-Child Behavioral Synchrony JOURNAL OF FAMILY PSYCHOLOGY Brown, K. M., Ram, N., Lunkenheimer, E. 2022

    Abstract

    Child temperament appears to evoke specific parenting behaviors that contribute to child development. However, questions remain about whether individual differences in children's temperamental self-regulation, namely, effortful control (EC), shape moment-to-moment parent-child interaction dynamics. Accordingly, we examined whether differences in children's EC were related to dynamic synchrony of parent and child behaviors during a challenging problem-solving task. We also tested whether these relations varied by parents' expressions of positive and negative behaviors that might differentially support or undermine children's regulatory efforts. State-trait multilevel models demonstrated that parent-child dyads engaged in dynamic, real-time behavioral concordance while parents engaged in positive but not negative behaviors. Further, dynamic concordance during parents' expressions of both positive and negative behaviors was moderated such that dyads with children higher in EC showed greater concordance. Additionally, when child behavior was more negative on average, parent behavior was also more negative on average. Results suggest parents' positive (compared to negative) behaviors are more likely to facilitate real-time synchrony and that children with higher EC may experience or foster greater behavioral synchrony with parents. Discussion centers on the importance of children's individual differences in shaping parent-child synchrony and potential implications for children's developing self-regulation. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/fam0001010

    View details for Web of Science ID 000811236000001

    View details for PubMedID 35708957

  • A dynamic systems account of parental self-regulation processes in the context of challenging child behavior. Child development Zhang, X., Gatzke-Kopp, L. M., Cole, P. M., Ram, N. 2022

    Abstract

    To advance the understanding of how parental self-regulation contributes to their role in supporting children's development, this study proposes a model of the dynamic processes involved in parental self-regulation. Based on time-series data from 157 mothers and their 30- to 60-month-old children (49.7% female; 96% White; data collected June 2017-December 2019 in central Pennsylvania, U.S.) during a challenging wait task, the model was tested by examining the temporal relations among challenging child behavior, maternal physiology, and maternal responsiveness. Results were consistent with the hypothesized dynamic negative feedback processes and revealed their associations with the overall quality of parenting behaviors and experiences. Findings elucidate how parents adapt to competing external (attending to child) and internal (restoring parents' equilibrium) demands during parenting challenges.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/cdev.13808

    View details for PubMedID 35635069

  • Decision-making in uncertain contexts: The role of autonomic markers in resolving indecision. International journal of psychophysiology : official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology Lees, T., White, R., Zhang, X., Ram, N., Gatzke-Kopp, L. M. 2022

    Abstract

    Although impulsivity is associated with an increased willingness to make risky decisions, uncertainty intolerance may also contribute to maladaptive decision-making behavior, where individuals neglect to pursue potential rewards even when probabilities for success are in their favor. Several theories have sought to explain the neural systems that guide decision-making in this context, with evidence supporting a role for increased sympathetic activation. However, it remains unclear whether the sympathetic system is associated with greater apprehension in response to uncertain outcomes, or whether it serves to guide behavioral decisions in the context of this uncertainty. Furthermore, although postulated as a within-person process, most research has examined the association between decision behavior and sympathetic activation at the between-person level. We hypothesize that in the context of uncertainty between-person differences in skin conductance will be associated with longer deliberation times; whereas within-person trial-level increases in skin conductance will be associated with a tendency to reject uncertain options. Data were collected from n = 56 children aged 7-11 years, using a computerized card game in which children chose to accept or reject cards of varying point value at varying levels of probability. Skin conductance level (SCL) was recorded throughout the task. No significant between-person associations emerged. However, within-person analyses indicated that momentary deliberation time moderated the association between momentary skin-conductance and decision outcome. This moderation was such that for trials during which the individual deliberated longer (i.e., was more indecisive), a concurrent increase in skin conductance was associated with a significantly higher likelihood of rejecting the card. The within-person nature of these results suggests that skin conductance may help in resolving indecision in the context of uncertainty.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2022.05.014

    View details for PubMedID 35640857

  • Connectedness and independence of young adults and parents in the digital world: Observing smartphone interactions at multiple timescales using Screenomics JOURNAL OF SOCIAL AND PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS Sun, X., Ram, N., Reeves, B., Cho, M., Fitzgerald, A., Robinson, T. N. 2022
  • Time for Change: New Venues for Development and Innovation Ram, N. HUMAN KINETICS PUBL INC. 2022: S1
  • Father-child physiological concordance on two timescales is differentially associated with paternal characteristics. Psychophysiology Zhang, X., Gatzke-Kopp, L. M., Chen, M., Cole, P. M., Ram, N. 2022: e14073

    Abstract

    Conceptual work on interpersonal physiology suggests that the dynamic concordance between two person's physiological arousal may transpire on multiple timescales, and the timescale on which it unfolds may determine its psychological significance. The current study tested this hypothesis in the context of parent-child interaction by examining whether the concordance in their cardiac arousal on two timescales was differentially associated with parental characteristics. Using data from 98 fathers and their 3- to 5-year-old children during a task designed to frustrate young children, results indicated that the associations between cardiac concordance and fathers' self-reported parenting hassles emerged for the slower timescale (concordant increasing trends in arousal), whereas concordance on the faster timescale (concordant second-by-second reactivity) was associated with fathers' emotional clarity. Findings suggest that there may be multiple layers of concordant patterns in the dynamic associations between fathers' and children's cardiac arousal, which unfold on different timescales and bear different psychological significance.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/psyp.14073

    View details for PubMedID 35460527

  • INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN EPIGENETIC AGE ACCELERATION AND ASSOCIATIONS WITH MIDLIFE COGNITIVE FUNCTIONING Felt, J. M., Harrington, K., Sliwinski, M. J., O'Donnell, K., Ram, N., Benson, L., Meaney, M., Putnam, F., Noll, J., Shenk, C. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC. 2022: S378
  • Trajectories of infant positive emotion during the still face paradigm are associated with toddler temperament. Infant behavior & development Backer, P., Ram, N., Stifter, C. 2022; 67: 101716

    Abstract

    Guided by temperament and positive psychology theory, this study examined whether changes in infant expressed positive emotion were related to toddler temperamental positivity. At 4 months of age, infant expressions of positive, neutral and negative emotion were coded across the Still Face Procedure (SFP). Temperamental positivity was assessed at 24 months of age when toddlers participated in several tasks designed to elicit a range of emotions. Using a conditional multiphase nominal growth model that accommodated the structure of the SFP (free play, still face, and reunion episodes) and the categorical nature of the second-by-second repeated measurements of emotion, trajectories of infant emotion were derived and related to 24-month temperamental positivity. Results revealed that although temperamentally positive toddlers showed similar emotion trajectories overall to their peers differences emerged for the start of the still face episode. Temperamentally positive toddlers were more likely to show higher levels of positive (and lower levels of negative) emotion expression when mothers switched from free play to the still face episode. The data indicate that toddler temperamental positivity may be foreshadowed in early infancy by positive emotion expression immediately following an interactive rupture.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.infbeh.2022.101716

    View details for PubMedID 35398701

  • Physical Intimacy in Older Couples' Everyday Lives: Its Frequency and Links with Affect and Salivary Cortisol. The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences Kolodziejczak, K., Drewelies, J., Pauly, T., Ram, N., Hoppmann, C., Gerstorf, D. 2022

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVES: Physical intimacy is important for communicating affection in romantic relationships. Theoretical and empirical work highlights linkages between physical intimacy, affect, and physiological stress among young and middle-aged adults, but not older adults. We examine physical intimacy and its associations with positive and negative affect and cortisol levels in the daily lives of older couples.METHOD: We applied actor-partner multilevel models to repeated daily life assessments of physical intimacy (experienced and wished) and affect obtained six times a day over seven consecutive days from 120 older heterosexual German couples (Mage= 71.6, SDage= 5.94). Physiological stress was indexed as total daily cortisol output, the area under the curve with respect to ground (AUCg).RESULTS: Physical intimacy experienced and wished were reported at the vast majority of occasions, but to different degrees at different times. Within persons, in moments when participants experienced more physical intimacy, older women reported less negative affect, whereas older men reported more positive affect. Between persons, higher overall levels of physical intimacy experienced were associated with higher positive affect and less negative affect among women and with lower daily cortisol output among men. A stronger wish for intimacy was related to more negative affect among both women and men, and to higher daily cortisol output among men.DISCUSSION: Physical intimacy is linked with mood and stress hormones in the daily life of older couples. We consider routes for future inquiry on physical intimacy among older adults.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/geronb/gbac037

    View details for PubMedID 35286380

  • Acting Like a Baby Boomer? Birth-Cohort Differences in Adults' Personality Trajectories During the Last Half a Century. Psychological science Brandt, N. D., Drewelies, J., Willis, S. L., Schaie, K. W., Ram, N., Gerstorf, D., Wagner, J. 2022: 9567976211037971

    Abstract

    Society and developmental theory generally assume that there are wide generational differences in personality. Yet evidence showing historical change in the levels of adult Big Five traits is scarce and particularly so for developmental change. We tracked adult trajectories of personality in 4,732 participants (age: M = 52.93 years, SD = 16.69; 53% female) from the Seattle Longitudinal Study (born 1883-1976) across 50 years. Multilevel models revealed evidence for historical change in personality: At age 56, later-born cohorts exhibited lower levels of maturity-related traits (agreeableness and neuroticism) and higher levels of agency-related traits (extraversion and openness) than earlier-born cohorts. Historical changes in agreeableness and neuroticism were more pronounced among young adults, but changes in openness were less pronounced. Cohort differences in change were rare and were observed only for agreeableness; within-person increases were more pronounced among later-born cohorts. Our results yield the first evidence for historical change in the Big Five across adulthood and point to the roles of delayed social-investment and maturity effects.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/09567976211037971

    View details for PubMedID 35192413

  • Screenertia: Understanding "Stickiness" of Media Through Temporal Changes in Screen Use COMMUNICATION RESEARCH Brinberg, M., Ram, N., Wang, J., Sundar, S., Cummings, J. J., Yeykelis, L., Reeves, B. 2022
  • Using Sequence Analysis to Identify Conversational Motifs in Supportive Interactions JOURNAL OF SOCIAL AND PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS Solomon, D., Jones, S., Brinberg, M., Bodie, G. D., Ram, N. 2022
  • Immune cell dynamics in response to an acute laboratory stressor: a within-person between-group analysis of the biological impact of early life adversity. Stress (Amsterdam, Netherlands) Etzel, L., Apsley, A. T., Mattern, B. C., Hastings, W. J., Heller, T., Ram, N., Rutherford Siegel, S., Shalev, I. 2022; 25 (1): 347-356

    Abstract

    Early life adversity (ELA) is a risk factor for early onset morbidities and mortality, a relationship that may be driven in part by immune system dysregulation. One mechanism of dysregulation that has yet to be fully examined in the context of ELA is alterations to immune cell dynamics in response to acute stress. Using a within-person between-group experimental design, we investigated stress-induced changes in immune cell populations, and how these changes may be altered in individuals with a history of ELA. Participants were young adults (N=34, aged 18-25years, 53% female, 47% with a history of ELA). Complete immune cell counts were measured at four time-points over a 5-hour window across two sessions (Trier Social Stress Test [TSST] vs. no-stress) separated by a week. Across all participants, total white blood cells increased over time (F(3,84)=38.97, p<.001) with a greater increase in response to the TSST compared to the no-stress condition at 240minutes post-test (b=0.43±.19; t(179)=2.22, p=.027). This pattern was mirrored by neutrophil counts. Lymphocyte counts were initially depressed by TSST exposure (b=-205±.67; t(184)=-3.07, p=.002) but recovered above baseline. ELA status was associated with higher stress-induced immune cell counts, a difference likely driven by increases in neutrophils (F(1,22)=4.45, p=.046). Overall, these results indicate differential immune cell dynamics in response to acute stress in individuals with a history of ELA. This points to altered immune system functioning in the context of stress, a finding that may be driving increased morbidity and mortality risk for ELA-exposed individuals.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/10253890.2022.2148100

    View details for PubMedID 36404775

  • Integrating dynamic and developmental time scales: emotion-specific autonomic coordination predicts baseline functioning over time. International journal of psychophysiology : official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology Fry, C. M., Ram, N., Gatzke-Kopp, L. M. 1800

    Abstract

    Autonomic nervous system activity flexibly shifts and modulates behavior at multiple time scales, with some work suggesting that patterns of short-term reactivity contribute to long-term developmental change. However, previous work has largely considered sympathetic and parasympathetic systems independently, even though both systems contribute dynamically to the regulation of physiological arousal. Using physiological data obtained from 313 children in kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade we examined whether within-person autonomic coordination during an emotion-inducing film task in kindergarten was associated with developmental change in resting autonomic activity. On average, these kindergarteners exhibited reciprocal coordination during the approach-oriented emotion (angry, happy) condition and a lack of coordination during the avoidance-oriented emotion (fear, sad) condition. Alignment with these patterns was associated with more typical autonomic development, specifically an increase in resting respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) and a decrease in resting skin conductance (SCR) from kindergarten to 2nd grade; while lack of coordination during the approach condition was associated with a relatively delayed increase in resting RSA and a steeper decline in SCR, and reciprocal coordination during the avoidance condition was associated with a lack of RSA increase. Findings highlight the need for additional consideration of how moment-to-moment dynamics of autonomic coordination influence longer-term development, and suggest that early patterns of atypical arousal may portend dysregulation of developing physiological systems.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2021.12.001

    View details for PubMedID 34906622

  • A Dynamic Dyadic Systems Approach to Interpersonal Communication JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATION Solomon, D., Brinberg, M., Bodie, G. D., Jones, S., Ram, N. 2021; 71 (6): 1001-1026
  • Cortisol trajectories measured prospectively across thirty years of female development following exposure to childhood sexual abuse: Moderation by epigenetic age acceleration at midlife. Psychoneuroendocrinology Shenk, C. E., Felt, J. M., Ram, N., O'Donnell, K. J., Sliwinski, M. J., Pokhvisneva, I., Benson, L., Meaney, M. J., Putnam, F. W., Noll, J. G. 1800; 136: 105606

    Abstract

    Lasting changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis are a potential indication of the biological embedding of early life adversity, yet, prospective and repeatedly collected data are needed to confirm this relation. Likewise, integrating information from multiple biological systems, such as the HPA axis and the epigenome, has the potential to identify individuals with enhanced embedding of early life adversity. The current study reports results from the Female Growth and Development Study, a 30-year prospective cohort study of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). Females exposed to substantiated CSA and a demographically-similar comparison condition were enrolled and resting state cortisol concentrations were sampled on seven subsequent occasions across childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Differences in participants' cortisol trajectories were examined in relation to prior CSA exposure and DNA methylation-derived epigenetic age acceleration at midlife. Bilinear spline growth models revealed a trajectory where cortisol secretion increased until approximately age twenty and then declined into mid-life, consistent with normative trends. However, cortisol concentrations peaked at a lower level and transitioned to the decline phase at an earlier age for females in the CSA condition with increased epigenetic age acceleration. Robustness tests across three independent measures of epigenetic age acceleration demonstrated similar results for lower peak cortisol levels and earlier ages at transition. Results suggest that CSA is associated with significant changes in HPA-axis activity over extended periods of time with these changes most pronounced in females with accelerated epigenetic aging in mid-life. Implications for biological embedding models of early life adversity and adulthood health are discussed.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2021.105606

    View details for PubMedID 34896740

  • Subjective Age and Attitudes Toward Own Aging Across Two Decades of Historical Time PSYCHOLOGY AND AGING Wahl, H., Drewelies, J., Duezel, S., Lachman, M. E., Smith, J., Eibich, P., Steinhagen-Thiessen, E., Demuth, I., Lindenberger, U., Wagner, G. G., Ram, N., Gerstorf, D. 2021

    Abstract

    A large body of empirical evidence has accumulated showing that the experience of old age is "younger," more "agentic," and "happier" than ever before. However, it is not yet known whether historical improvements in well-being, control beliefs, cognitive functioning, and other outcomes generalize to individuals' views on their own aging process. To examine historical changes in such views on aging, we compared matched cohorts of older adults within two independent studies that assessed differences across a two-decade interval, the Berlin Aging Studies (BASE; 1990/1993 vs. 2017/2018, each n = 256, Mage = 77) and the Midlife in the United States Study (MIDUS; 1995/1996 vs. 2013/14, each n = 848, Mage = 67). Consistent across four different dimensions of individuals' subjective views on aging (age felt, age appeared, desired age, and attitudes toward own aging) in the BASE and corroborated with subjective age felt and subjective age desired in the MIDUS, there was no evidence whatsoever that older adults of today have more favorable views on how they age than older adults did two decades ago. Further, heterogeneity in views on aging increased across two decades in the MIDUS but decreased in BASE. Also consistent across studies, associations of views on aging with sociodemographic, health, cognitive, and psychosocial correlates did not change across historical times. We discuss possible reasons for our findings, including the possibility that individual age views may have become increasingly decoupled from societal age views. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/pag0000649

    View details for Web of Science ID 000733640700001

    View details for PubMedID 34694838

  • Daily Stressors, Emotion Dynamics, and Inflammation in the MIDUS Cohort. International journal of behavioral medicine Reed, R. G., Mauss, I. B., Ram, N., Segerstrom, S. C. 2021

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: The current study (1) examined links between daily stressors and inflammation and (2) tested whether negative emotion dynamics (emotional variability) is one pathway through which stressors are linked to inflammation.METHOD: A cross-sectional sample of 986 adults (aged 35-86years, 57% female) from MIDUS reported daily stressor frequency and severity and negative emotions on 8 consecutive nights. Negative emotion variability (intraindividual standard deviation), controlling for overall mean level (intraindividual mean), was the focus of the current study. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were assayed from blood drawn at a clinic visit. Regression models adjusted for demographics, health factors, and the time between assessments.RESULTS: More severe daily stressors were associated with higher CRP, but this effect was accounted for by covariates. More frequent daily stressors were associated with lower IL-6 and CRP. In follow-up analyses, significant interactions between stressor severity and frequency suggested that participants with lower stressor severity and higher stressor frequency had the lowest levels of IL-6 and CRP, whereas those with higher stressor severity had thehighest levels of IL-6 and CRP, regardless of frequency. Daily stressor frequency and severity were positively associated with negative emotion variability, but variability was not linearly associated with inflammation and did not operate as a mediator.CONCLUSION: Among midlife and older adults, daily stressor frequency and severity may interact and synergistically associate with inflammatory markers, potentially due to these adults being advantaged in other ways related to lower inflammation, or in a pattern aligning with hormetic stress, where frequent but manageable stressors may yield physiological benefits, or both. Negative emotion variability does not operate as a mediator. Additional work is needed to reliably measure and test other emotion dynamic metrics that may contribute to inflammation.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s12529-021-10035-9

    View details for PubMedID 34661859

  • Partner Pain and Affect in the Daily Lives of Older Couples. The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences Potter, S., Rocke, C., Gerstorf, D., Brose, A., Kolodziejczak, K., Hoppmann, C., Ram, N., Drewelies, J. 2021

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVES: The susceptibility of older adults' affect to fluctuations in their own health (within-person health sensitivity) indicates how they handle everyday health challenges. In old age, affective well-being is often increasingly influenced by close others, yet it is unknown whether older adults' affect is additionally susceptible to fluctuations in their spouse's health (within-partnership health sensitivity) and the extent to which age and relationship satisfaction moderate such associations.METHODS: Parallel sets of multi-level actor-partner interdependence models are applied to self-reported health (feelings of pain/discomfort) and positive and negative affect, obtained 6 times a day over 7 consecutive days from two independent samples, the Berlin Couple Dynamics Study (N= 87 couples; Mage= 75 years; M relationship length= 46 years) and the Socio-Economic Panel Couple Dynamics Study (N= 151 couples; Mage= 72 years; M relationship length= 47 years).RESULTS: Husbands and wives had lower positive affect and higher negative affect in moments when they reported more pain (within-person health sensitivity) and when their respective spouse reported more pain (within-partnership health sensitivity). Tests for moderation suggest that within-person, but not within-partnership, health sensitivity is lower at older ages and higher with more satisfying relationships.DISCUSSION: These findings empirically illustrate lifespan notions that close relationships shape time-varying health-affect links and thus underscore the theoretical and practical utility of examining social contextual antecedents of older adults' everyday affective well-being.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/geronb/gbab188

    View details for PubMedID 34653253

  • Sensitization in situ: Identifying interindividual differences in adolescents intraindividual responsiveness to daily interparental conflict FAMILY RELATIONS Sloan, C. J., Fosco, G. M., Ram, N. 2021

    View details for DOI 10.1111/fare.12604

    View details for Web of Science ID 000704344300001

  • Healthy Aging-Relevant Goals: The Role of Person-Context Co-construction. The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences Wahl, H., Hoppmann, C. A., Ram, N., Gerstorf, D. 2021; 76 (Supplement_2): S181-S190

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVES: This article considers how individuals' motivation for healthy aging manifests within the myriad of different contexts that older adults are embedded in as they move through later life.METHODS: Drawing on the concept of co-construction, we argue that persons and contexts both contribute to the emergence, maintenance, and disengagement from healthy aging relevant goals in adulthood and old age.RESULTS: To promote the understanding of such co-constructive dynamics, we propose four conceptual refinements of previous healthy aging models. First, we outline various different, often multidirectional, ways in which persons and contexts conjointly contribute to how people set, pursue, and disengage from health goals. Second, we promote consideration of context as involving unique, shared, and interactive effects of socio-economic, social, physical, care/service, and technology dimensions. Third, we highlight how the relevance, utility, and nature of these context dimensions and their role in co-constructing health goals change as individuals move through the Third Age, the Fourth Age, and a terminal stages of life. Finally, we suggest that these conceptual refinements be linked to established (motivational) theories of lifespan development and aging.DISCUSSIONS: In closing, we outline a set of research questions that promise to advance our understanding of the mechanisms by which contexts and aging persons co-construct healthy aging relevant goals and elaborate on the applied significance of this approach for common public health practices.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/geronb/gbab089

    View details for PubMedID 34515774

  • Visual Model Fit Estimation in Scatterplots: Influence of Amount and Decentering of Noise IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VISUALIZATION AND COMPUTER GRAPHICS Reimann, D., Blech, C., Ram, N., Gaschler, R. 2021; 27 (9): 3834-3838

    Abstract

    Scatterplots with a model enable visual estimation of model-data fit. In Experiment 1 (N = 62) we quantified the influence of noise-level on subjective misfit and found a negatively accelerated relationship. Experiment 2 showed that decentering of noise only mildly reduced fit ratings. The results have consequences for model-evaluation.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TVCG.2021.3051853

    View details for Web of Science ID 000679532000018

    View details for PubMedID 33444142

  • Positive and negative affect are associated with salivary cortisol in the everyday life of older adults: A quantitative synthesis of four aging studies. Psychoneuroendocrinology Pauly, T., Drewelies, J., Kolodziejczak, K., Katzorreck, M., Lucke, A. J., Schilling, O. K., Kunzmann, U., Wahl, H., Ditzen, B., Ram, N., Gerstorf, D., Hoppmann, C. A. 2021; 133: 105403

    Abstract

    Research on time-fluctuating links between positive affect and cortisol is inconsistent and mostly based on young to middle-aged samples. The current project investigated how moment-to-moment changes in positive and negative affect are associated with moment-to-moment changes in cortisol levels in older adults' daily lives and whether those associations are moderated by differences in health status (as indicated by the number of comorbidities). Affect and cortisol data collected in four separately conducted momentary assessment studies with parallel protocols were pooled to obtain a sample of N=476 individuals aged 56-88 years (Mage=71.9, SD=6.6; 52% female). Participants provided affect reports and collected salivary cortisol 5-7 times a day for a 7-day period and reported the presence of 13 different health conditions. Data were analyzed using multilevel models, with time since waking, daily behaviors associated with cortisol secretion, age, and sex controlled. Feeling more positive affect than usual was associated with lower momentary cortisol. In contrast, feeling more negative affect than usual was associated with higher momentary cortisol. Associations of momentary positive and negative affect with cortisol were weaker among participants in worse as compared to those in better health. Trait positive affectivity was associated with more curvature of waking cortisol profiles and trait negative affectivity was associated with smaller cortisol awakening responses. Findings suggest that HPA axis responses fluctuate with everyday changes in positive and negative affect in older adults, and that higher HPA reactivity may indicate preserved health in this age group.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2021.105403

    View details for PubMedID 34536776

  • Leisure Boredom, Timing of Sexual Debut, and Co-Occurring Behaviors among South African Adolescents ARCHIVES OF SEXUAL BEHAVIOR Layland, E. K., Ram, N., Caldwell, L. L., Smith, E. A., Wegner, L. 2021; 50 (6): 2383-2394

    Abstract

    Sex during adolescence is normative; however, there are substantial individual differences in the timing and context of sexual debut. Leisure boredom is an underexplored correlate of sexual behavior that is associated with many adolescent health outcomes. We investigated if and how individual differences in leisure boredom may be associated with timing of sexual debut, and whether individuals engage in safe or risky behaviors at debut. Survival analysis, logistic regression, and Poisson regression were applied to eight-wave longitudinal data obtained from 3,088 South African adolescents (baseline Mage = 13.9 years) to examine associations between leisure boredom and cumulative hazard of sexual debut across adolescence, odds of co-occurring sexual behaviors, and incidence rate of co-occurring sexual risk behaviors at debut. Higher levels of leisure boredom were associated with elevated hazard cumulatively across adolescence. Higher levels of leisure boredom were also associated with lower odds of safe sex and higher odds of substance use during sex and transactional sex at sexual debut, but not casual sex or condom non-use at sexual debut. Although odds of singular risk behaviors were lower for girls than for boys, the association between leisure boredom and the number of risk behaviors at sexual debut was stronger for girls than boys. Higher trait leisure boredom was associated with elevated hazard of sexual debut, greater likelihood that risky behaviors accompanied sexual debut, and greater number of co-occurring risky behaviors at sexual debut. Results support leisure boredom as a potential target for preventing sexual risk behavior among South African adolescents.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10508-021-02014-8

    View details for Web of Science ID 000685404100001

    View details for PubMedID 34401994

  • Using technology to unobtrusively observe relationship development JOURNAL OF SOCIAL AND PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS Brinberg, M., Vanderbilt, R., Solomon, D., Brinberg, D., Ram, N. 2021
  • Sociohistorical Change in Urban Older Adults' Perceived Speed of Time and Time Pressure. The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences Lockenhoff, C. E., Drewelies, J., Duezel, S., Steinhagen-Thiessen, E., Demuth, I., Freund, A. M., Staudinger, U. M., Lindenberger, U., Wagner, G. G., Ram, N., Gerstorf, D. 2021

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVES: Perceptions of time are shaped by sociohistorical factors. Specifically, economic growth and modernization often engender a sense of acceleration. Research has primarily focused on one time perception dimension (perceived time pressure) in one subpopulation (working-age adults), but it is not clear whether historical changes extend to other dimensions (e.g., perceived speed of time) and other subpopulations, such as older adults who are no longer in the workforce and experience age-related shifts in time perception. We therefore examined sociohistorical and age-related trends in two dimensions of time perception in two cohorts of urban older adults.METHOD: Using propensity score matching for age and education, samples were drawn from the Berlin Aging Study (1990-1993, n = 256, Mage = 77.49) and the Berlin Aging Study-II (2009-2014, n = 248, Mage = 77.49). Cohort differences in means, variances, covariance, and correlates of perceived speed of time and time pressure were examined using multigroup SEM.RESULTS: There were no cohort differences in the perceived speed of time, but later-born cohorts reported more time pressure than earlier-born cohorts. There were no significant age differences, but perceptions of speed of time were more heterogeneous in the 1990s than in the 2010s. Cohorts did not differ in how time perceptions were associated with sociodemographic, health, cognitive, and psychosocial correlates.DISCUSSION: These findings document sociohistorical trends toward greater perceived time pressure and reduced heterogeneity in perceived speed of time among later-born urban adults. Conceptualizations of social acceleration should thus consider the whole adult life span.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/geronb/gbab094

    View details for PubMedID 34180501

  • Do New Romantic Couples Use More Similar Language Over Time? Evidence from Intensive Longitudinal Text Messages. The Journal of communication Brinberg, M., Ram, N. 2021; 71 (3): 454-477

    Abstract

    The digital text traces left by computer-mediated communication (CMC) provide a new opportunity to test theories of relational processes that were originally developed through observation of face-to-face interactions. Communication accommodation theory, for example, suggests that conversation partners' verbal (and non-verbal) behaviors become more similar as relationships develop. Using a corpus of 1+ million text messages that 41 college-age romantic couples sent to each other during their first year of dating, this study examines how linguistic alignment of new romantic couples' CMC changes during relationship formation. Results from nonlinear growth models indicate that three aspects of daily linguistic alignment (syntactic-language style matching, semantic-latent semantic analysis, overall-cosine similarity) all exhibit exponential growth to an asymptote as romantic relationships form. Beyond providing empirical support that communication accommodation theory also applies in romantic partners' CMC, this study demonstrates how relational processes can be examined using digital trace data.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/joc/jqab012

    View details for PubMedID 34335083

  • Describing and Controlling Multivariate Nonlinear Dynamics: A Boolean Network Approach. Multivariate behavioral research Yang, X., Ram, N., Molenaar, P. C., Cole, P. M. 2021: 1–30

    Abstract

    We introduce a discrete-time dynamical system method, the Boolean network method, that may be useful for modeling, studying, and controlling nonlinear dynamics in multivariate systems, particularly when binary time-series are available. We introduce the method in three steps: inference of the temporal relations as Boolean functions, extraction of attractors and assignment of desirability based on domain knowledge, and design of network control to direct a psychological system toward a desired attractor. To demonstrate how the Boolean network can describe and prescribe control for emotion regulation dynamics, we applied this method to data from a study of how children use bidding to an adult and/or distraction to regulate their anger during a frustrating task (N=120, T=480seconds). Network control strategies were designed to move the child into attractors where anger is OFF. The sample shows heterogeneous emotion regulation dynamics across children in 22 distinct Boolean networks, and heterogeneous control strategies regarding which behavior to perturb and how to perturb it. The Boolean network method provides a novel method to describe nonlinear dynamics in multivariate psychological systems and is a method with potential to eventually inform the design of interventions that can guide those systems toward desired goals.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/00273171.2021.1911772

    View details for PubMedID 33874843

  • Screenomics: A Framework to Capture and Analyze Personal Life Experiences and the Ways that Technology Shapes Them. Human-computer interaction Reeves, B., Ram, N., Robinson, T. N., Cummings, J. J., Giles, C. L., Pan, J., Chiatti, A., Cho, M. J., Roehrick, K., Yang, X., Gagneja, A., Brinberg, M., Muise, D., Lu, Y., Luo, M., Fitzgerald, A., Yeykelis, L. 2021; 36 (2): 150-201

    Abstract

    Digital experiences capture an increasingly large part of life, making them a preferred, if not required, method to describe and theorize about human behavior. Digital media also shape behavior by enabling people to switch between different content easily, and create unique threads of experiences that pass quickly through numerous information categories. Current methods of recording digital experiences provide only partial reconstructions of digital lives that weave - often within seconds - among multiple applications, locations, functions and media. We describe an end-to-end system for capturing and analyzing the "screenome" of life in media, i.e., the record of individual experiences represented as a sequence of screens that people view and interact with over time. The system includes software that collects screenshots, extracts text and images, and allows searching of a screenshot database. We discuss how the system can be used to elaborate current theories about psychological processing of technology, and suggest new theoretical questions that are enabled by multiple time scale analyses. Capabilities of the system are highlighted with eight research examples that analyze screens from adults who have generated data within the system. We end with a discussion of future uses, limitations, theory and privacy.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/07370024.2019.1578652

    View details for PubMedID 33867652

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8045984

  • Concordance of mother-child respiratory sinus arrythmia is continually moderated by dynamic changes in emotional content of film stimuli. Biological psychology Ravindran, N., Zhang, X., Green, L. M., Gatzke-Kopp, L. M., Cole, P. M., Ram, N. 2021: 108053

    Abstract

    Evidence suggests that concordance between parent and child physiological states is an important marker of interpersonal interaction. However, studies have focused on individual differences in concordance, and we have limited understanding of how physiological concordance may vary dynamically based on the situational context. We examined whether mother-child physiological concordance is moderated by dynamic changes in emotional content of a film clip they viewed together. Second-by-second estimates of respiratory sinus arrythmia were obtained from mothers and children (N=158, Mchild age = 45.16 months) as they viewed a chase scene from a children's film. In addition, the film clip's negative emotional content was rated second-by-second. Results showed that mother-child dyads displayed positive physiological concordance only in seconds when there was an increase in the clip's negative emotional content. Thus, dynamic changes in mother-child physiological concordance may indicate dyadic responses to challenge.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2021.108053

    View details for PubMedID 33617928

  • Dyadic analysis and the reciprocal one-with-many model: Extending the study of interpersonal processes with intensive longitudinal data. Psychological methods Brinberg, M., Ram, N., Conroy, D. E., Pincus, A. L., Gerstorf, D. 2021

    Abstract

    Newly available data streams from experience sampling studies and social media are providing new opportunities to study individuals' dyadic relations. The "one-with-many" (OWM) model (Kenny et al., 2006; Kenny & Winquist, 2001) was specifically constructed for and is used to examine features of multiple dyadic relationships that one set of focal persons (e.g., therapists, physicians) has with others (e.g., multiple clients, multiple patients). Originally, the OWM model was constructed for and applied to cross-sectional data. However, the model can be extended to accommodate and may be particularly useful for the analysis of intensive repeated measures data now being obtained through experience sampling and social media. This article (a) provides a practical tutorial on fitting the OWM model, (b) describes how the OWM model is extended for analysis of repeated measures data, and (c) illustrates application of the OWM model using reports about interpersonal behavior and benefits individuals experienced in 64,111 social interactions during 9 weeks of study (N = 150). Our presentation highlights the utility of the OWM model for examining interpersonal processes in everyday life. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/met0000380

    View details for PubMedID 33475420

  • Political context is associated with everyday cortisol synchrony in older couples. Psychoneuroendocrinology Pauly, T., Kolodziejczak, K., Drewelies, J., Gerstorf, D., Ram, N., Hoppmann, C. A. 2020; 124: 105082

    Abstract

    Prior research with predominantly younger to middle-aged samples has demonstrated that couples' cortisol levels covary throughout the day (cortisol synchrony). Not much is known about cortisol synchrony in old age, and its potential broader societal correlates. The current study investigates associations between the socio-political context and cortisol synchrony as observed in older couples' daily lives. 160 older German couples (Mage =72 years, range: 56-89) provided salivary cortisol samples 7 times daily for a 7-day period. Socio-political context was quantified using state-specific voting data from the 2017 German federal election along the left-right political spectrum. Multilevel models controlling for diurnal cortisol rhythm, food intake, sex, age, body mass index, education, and individual-level political orientation revealed evidence for synchrony in partners' cortisol fluctuations (b=0.03, p<.001). The extent of cortisol synchrony was moderated by left-right political context, such that older couples living in a federal state placed further right exhibited greater cortisol synchrony than couples living in a federal state placed further left (b=0.01, p=.015). Findings point to the importance of considering the socio-political context of health-relevant biopsychosocial dynamics in old age. Future research needs to investigate mechanisms underlying such associations, including how politics shape opportunities and motivation for interdependencies that promote better or worse health.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2020.105082

    View details for PubMedID 33316693

  • In-Person Contacts and Their Relationship With Alcohol Consumption Among Young Adults With Hazardous Drinking During a Pandemic. The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine Suffoletto, B., Ram, N., Chung, T. 2020

    Abstract

    PURPOSE: Social distancing strategies such as "stay-at-home" (SAH) orders can slow the transmission of contagious viruses like the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but require population adherence to be effective. This study explored adherence to SAH orders by young adults with hazardous drinking, and the role of alcohol consumption with in-person contacts on adherence.METHODS: Analyses included young adults with hazardous drinking (i.e., AUDIT-C score ≥3/4 for women/men; n= 50; ages 18-25) participating in a randomized trial in Pittsburgh, PA. Participants provided experience sampling reports on drinking twice per week from the week before SAH orders started on April 1, 2020 through 6weeks during the SAH period. We examined how in-person contact with non-household friends changed over time and event-level relationships between alcohol consumption and in-person contacts.RESULTS: The percentage of participants with any in-person contact in the week before SAH was 44% (95% confidence interval [CI] 30%-59%), which decreased to 29% (95% CI 15%-43%) in the first SAH week and increased to 65% (95% CI 46%-85%) by SAH week 6. Controlling for average levels of alcohol consumption, on days when young adults drank, participants reported more in-person contacts compared to nondrinking days.CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary data indicate that, among young adults with hazardous drinking, adherence to public policies like SAH orders is suboptimal, declines over time, and is associated with drinking events. Interventions aimed at enhancing young adults' adherence to social distancing policies are urgently needed.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.08.007

    View details for PubMedID 32943290

  • Discovering the Fabric of Supportive Conversations: A Typology of Speaking Turns and Their Contingencies JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Bodie, G. D., Jones, S. M., Brinberg, M., Joyer, A. M., Solomon, D., Ram, N. 2020
  • Rollman and Brent: Phonotype. Journal of general internal medicine Robinson, T. N., Reeves, B., Ram, N. 2020

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11606-020-05798-y

    View details for PubMedID 32221856

  • #Science: The potential and the challenges of utilizing social media and other electronic communication platforms in health care. Clinical and translational science Gijsen, V. n., Maddux, M. n., Lavertu, A. n., Gonzalez-Hernandez, G. n., Ram, N. n., Reeves, B. n., Robinson, T. n., Ziesenitz, V. n., Shakhnovich, V. n., Altman, R. n. 2019

    Abstract

    Electronic communication is becoming increasingly popular worldwide, as evidenced by its widespread and rapidly growing use. In medicine however, it remains a novel approach to reach out to patients. Yet, they have the potential for further improving current health care. Electronic platforms could support therapy adherence and communication between physicians and patients. The power of social media as well as other electronic devices can improve adherence as evidenced by the development of the app bant. Additionally, systemic analysis of social media content by Screenome can identify health events not always captured by regular health care. By better identifying these health care events we can improve our current health care system as we will be able to better tailor to the patients' needs. All these techniques are a valuable component of modern health care and will help us into the future of increasingly digital health care. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/cts.12687

    View details for PubMedID 31392837

  • Daily Actigraphy Profiles Distinguish Depressive and Interepisode States in Bipolar Disorder Clinical Psychological Science Gershon, A., Ram, N., Johnson, S. L., Harvey, A. G., Zeitzer, J. M. 2016; 4 (4): 641– 650

    Abstract

    Disruptions in activity are core features of mood states in bipolar disorder (BD). This study sought to identify activity patterns that discriminate between mood states in BD. Locomotor activity was collected using actigraphy for six weeks in participants with inter-episode BD type I (n=37) or participants with no lifetime mood disorders (n=39). The 24-hour activity pattern of each participant-day was characterized and within-person differences in activity patterns were examined across mood states. Results show that among participants with BD, depressive days are distinguished from other mood states by an overall lower activity level, and a pattern of later activity onset, a midday elevation of activity, and low evening activity. No distinct within-person activity patterns were found for hypomanic/manic days. Since activity can be monitored non-invasively for extended time periods, activity pattern identification may be leveraged to detect mood states in BD, thereby providing more immediate delivery of care.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/2167702615604613

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5022043