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Kristin Gainey, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Iowa
216 Park Hall
(716) 645-0240
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Summary of Research Interests

Affective processes play a central role in psychological well-being and psychopathology broadly, with particular relevance to the internalizing disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety). Through the lens of affect, my lab (UB Affective Science Lab) aims to further our understanding of numerous broad questions about these disorders. For example, how do affective experiences lead to or protect against psychopathology? What processes, circumstances, or traits moderate the impact of affect on psychopathology? Why do certain mood and anxiety disorders tend to co-occur within individuals (i.e., high rates of comorbidity); conversely, what leads individuals to develop a specific internalizing disorder but not others? How can we most accurately and effectively categorize and assess internalizing symptoms, and what features may be good candidates for targets in treatment? 


My work to date has explored these issues in several ways. First, I examine the role of affective individual differences in the development and maintenance of mood and anxiety psychopathology. Second, I explore the impact of several different responses to extreme affect on psychological well-being, including emotion regulation and mindfulness-related processes. A current NIH-funded project examines the mechanisms underlying the benefits of decentering on in daily life. Third, I develop and refine structural models of mood and anxiety disorders that stem from the personality-psychopathology tradition. Finally, I am interested in methodological/psychometric issues, such as mood-state distortion, measure construction, and latent variable modeling. My research uses multiple methods (e.g., clinical interview, ecological momentary assessment, eye-tracking, heart-rate variability), and the findings have implications both for basic/etiological models of psychopathology and for applied assessment and intervention contexts. 



Representative Publications


  • Naragon-Gainey, K., & DeMarree, K. G. (in press). Decentering attenuates the associations of negative affect and positive affect with psychopathology. Clinical Psychological Science.
  • Naragon-Gainey, K., & Simms, L. J. (in press). Clarifying the links of conscientiousness with internalizing and externalizing psychopathology. Journal of Personality.
  • Naragon-Gainey, K., & Watson, D. (in press). What lies beyond neuroticism? An examination of the unique contributions of social-cognitive vulnerabilities to internalizing disorders. Assessment. 
  • Naragon-Gainey, K. (in press). Distinguishing affective constructs: Structure, trait- vs. state-ness, and responses to affect. In R. Davidson, A. Shackman, A. Fox, & R. Lapate (Eds.), The Nature of Emotion, 2nd Edition. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Naragon-Gainey, K., McMahon, T. P, & Chacko, T. P. (2017). The structure of common emotion regulation strategies: A meta-analytic examination. Psychological Bulletin, 143, 384-427.
  • Naragon-Gainey, K., & DeMarree, K. G. (2017). Structure and validity of measures of decentering and defusion. Psychological Assessment, 29, 935-954.
  • Naragon-Gainey, K., & Simms, L. J. (2017). Three-way interaction of neuroticism, extraversion, and conscientiousness in the internalizing disorders: Evidence of disorder specificity in a psychiatric sample. Journal of Research in Personality, 70, 16-26.
  • Naragon-Gainey, K., Prevoneau, J. M., Brown, T. A., & Zinbarg, R. E. (2016). A comparison and integration of structural models of depression and anxiety in a clinical sample: Support for and validation of the tri-level model. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 125, 853-867.
  • Naragon-Gainey, K., & Brown, T. A. (2015).  Enhancing measurement validation in cognitive-clinical research with structural equation modeling and item response theory. In G. P. Brown & D.A. Clark (Eds.), Assessment in Cognitive Therapy (pp. 268-290). New York, NY: Guilford Publications.
  • Naragon-Gainey, K., & Watson, D. (2014). Consensually-defined facets of personality as prospective predictors of change in depression symptoms. Assessment, 21, 387-403.
  • Watson, D., & Naragon-Gainey, K. (2014). Personality, emotions, and the emotional disorders. Clinical Psychological Science, 2, 422-442.
  • Naragon-Gainey, K., Gallagher, M. W., & Brown, T. A. (2013). Stable “trait” variance of temperament as a predictor of the temporal course of depression and social phobia. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 122, 611-623.
  • Olatunji, B. O., Naragon-Gainey, K., & Wolitzky-Taylor, K. B. (2013). Specificity of rumination in anxiety and depression: a multimodal meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 20, 225-257.
  • Naragon-Gainey, K. (2010). Meta-analysis of the relations of anxiety sensitivity to the depressive and anxiety disorders. Psychological Bulletin, 136, 128-150.
  • Naragon-Gainey, K., Watson, D., & Markon, K. E. (2009). Differential relations of depression and social anxiety symptoms to the facets of extraversion/positive emotionality. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 118, 299-310.