Category: Assessment

Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion 6 - If I Knew Then What I Know Now: Best Practices in Ambulatory Assessment of High-Risk Populations

Friday, November 17
10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom I & J, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Ecological Momentary Assessment | Risky Behaviors | Research Methods
Presentation Type: Panel Discussion

Ambulatory assessment (AA) methods have become increasingly popular in clinical psychology research (Trull & Ebner-Priemer, 2012). AA improves reliability and validity, captures within-person processes over time, and facilitates study of low base rate events (Carpenter et al., 2016). Although AA has been used extensively to study phenomena such as anxiety and depression, AA has historically been less common in work involving pathology associated with elevated risk of harm, including self-injury (Hamza & Willoughby, 2015), substance use (Willner-Reid et al., 2016), eating disorders (Haedt-Matt & Keel, 2011), and aggression (Shorey et al., 2014). The relative underutilization of AA methods to study high-risk groups may be at least partially due to concerns about practical, legal, and ethical issues involved in collecting real-time data in these populations.

This panel consists of five pioneers in applying AA methods to study high-risk populations, who will each provide recommendations on best practices for AA research. Dr. Nock, one of the foremost experts on suicide and self-injury, will describe his experiences using AA with suicidal and self-injuring individuals. Dr. Prinstein, an exceptional clinical scientist with expertise in developmental psychopathology, will address ethical and legal issues pertaining to risk assessment in AA research, particularly with youth. Dr. Rosenthal will share knowledge gleaned from his important work using AA to study emotion dysregulation in individuals with borderline personality disorder and substance use problems and to inform real-time interventions. Dr. Lavender will reflect on his experiences using AA to capture eating disordered behaviors as these understudied phenomena occur in real time. Dr. Baucom, whose innovative work with interpersonal conflict, violence, and health involves observational and ambulatory physiological measures, will comment on the use of AA to measure dyadic processes, including relational aggression.

Learning Objectives:

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Mitch Prinstein

Professor and Director of Clinical Psychology
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


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M. Zachary Rosenthal

Associate Professor
Duke University


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Jason M. Lavender

Assistant Researcher
University of California, San Diego


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Brian R.W. Baucom

Assistant Professor
University of Utah


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Kate Bentley

Graduate Student
Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School


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Sarah E. Victor

Clinical Psychology Intern
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic


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Panel Discussion 6 - If I Knew Then What I Know Now: Best Practices in Ambulatory Assessment of High-Risk Populations

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