Publication Date




Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Aaron S. Heller

Second Committee Member

Kiara R. Timpano

Third Committee Member

Dana McMakin


A primary model of psychopathology emphasizes the reciprocal relationship between emotions and cognitions. However, very little is known about the specific day to day dynamics of emotion that contribute to maladaptive cognitive thinking patterns. While maladaptive thinking styles are prominent in the literature, many of them, such as rumination or worry, are reliant on disorder-specific definitions, which limits the generalizability of the findings. Similarly, methods for understanding the role of emotions as a risk factor for psychopathology are also limited by diagnosis-specific extremes of emotionality. Emphasis should be placed on more inclusive, transdiagnostic, patterns that focus on the process of the maladaptive thoughts rather than their content, such as Repetitive Negative Thinking (RNT) or the process of emotion dynamics, such as positive (PA) and negative (NA) emotion instability. The identification of transdiagnostic risk factors is only the beginning. In order to understand psychopathology at its core, it’s important to understand how these risk factors relate to each other and affect an individual’s day-to-day functioning. The current study addresses this gap in the literature and incorporates the use of mobile technology to understand how different transdiagnostic measures of emotion, such as positive and negative affect instability, give rise to maladaptive cognitive patterns reported by undergraduate students at the University of Miami.


Emotion Instability; Repetitive Negative Thinking; Ecological Momentary Assessment; Transdiagnostic; Risk Factors

Available for download on Saturday, November 14, 2020