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Consciousness about own and others’ affects
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

It is essential for individuals’ well-being and relationships that they have the ability to consciously experience, express and respond to their own and others’ affects. The validity of a new conception of affect consciousness (AC), incorporating consciousness of both own and others’ affects, was investigated in this thesis. The clinical usefulness of the new conception was explored and an interview (affect consciousness interview – self/other; ACI-S/O) intended to capture this new definition was validated. In study I the interrater reliability and the concurrent validity of the ACI-S/O were assessed and found to be acceptable. There were significant differences in all variables of ACI-S/O between the four groups that participated in the study. Joy and interest had the highest ratings in all groups and guilt and shame had the lowest. By means of a factor analysis, two factors, labeled “general affect consciousness” and “consciousness about shame and guilt,” were obtained. General affect consciousness was related to different aspects of relational and emotional problems and possibly protection against them. In study II the clinical implications of AC were further explored in relation to eating disorders (ED). The level of AC in the ED group was compared with a comparable non-clinical group. The relation between AC and aspects of ED pathology were explored, as well as whether AC should be seen as a state or trait in patients diagnosed with ED. ACI-S/O was not significantly related to ED pathology or general psychological distress. There were no significant differences in AC between the different sub-diagnoses of ED but there were between the ED group and the non-clinical group. Significant pre-post correlations for both factors of ACI-S/O were found, indicating that AC could be seen as a stable dimension that might be important for ED pathology but is unrelated to ED symptoms. In study III the relationship between AC and self-reported attachment style (ASQ) was explored in a non-clinical group and three patient groups. There were significant correlations between all scores on ACI- S/O and the ASQ, with the exception of consciousness about guilt. Multiple regression analyses showed that AC, and especially others’ affects, contributed significantly to the ASQ subscales. AC and in particular own joy and others’ guilt and anger seem to be of importance for attachment style. In study IV the importance of AC for the treatment process was explored. Patients’ AC before therapy was significantly correlated with patients’ positive feelings towards their therapists but not with their alliance ratings. Patients’ warm and positive feelings were related to pre-therapy AC, whereas negative feelings were related to low alliance ratings in the previous sessions.

Abstract [sv]

Det är viktigt för människans relationer och välbefinnande att ha en förmåga att medvetet uppleva, uttrycka egna samt svara på andras affekter. I denna avhandling studerades användbarheten av en ny definition av Affektmedvetenhet (AM), omfattande medvetande om egna och andras affekter samt validiteten i en intervju (affektmedvetenhetsintervjun-själv/andra; AMI-S/A) som avser att fånga den nya definitionen. I studie I undersöktes interbedömarreliabilitet och den samtidiga validiteten hos AMI-S/A. De befanns vara godtagbara. Det fanns signifikanta skillnader på alla delsskalor i AMI-S/A mellan de fyra grupper som deltog i studien. Affekterna glädje och intresse hade de högsta skattningarna i alla grupper och skuld och skam hade de lägsta. En faktoranalys genomfördes där två faktorer föll ut. De beskrevs som "Generell affektmedvetenhet" och "Medvetenhet om skam och skuld". Generell affektmedvetenhet visade sig vara relaterad till olika aspekter av relationella och känslomässiga problem och antogs skydda mot dessa. I studie II genomfördes vidare undersökning av den kliniska betydelsen av AM för ätstörningar. Nivån av AM hos patienter med ätstörningar jämfördes med en demografiskt jämförbar icke-klinisk grupp. Förhållandet mellan AM och ätstörningspatologi undersöktes. Någon signifikant relation mellan AMI-S/A och ätstörningssymtom eller allmän psykisk ohälsa hos ätstörningspatienterna hittades inte. Det fanns heller inga signifikanta skillnader i AM mellan olika undergrupper av ätstörning men däremot mellan hela ätstörningsgruppen och den icke-kliniska gruppen. Frågan om AM kan betraktas mer som ett drag eller tillstånd hos patienter med ätstörning utforskades. Det fanns signifikanta korrelationer mellan före och eftermätning på båda faktorerna på AMI-S/A. Resultaten tyder på att AM kan ses som en stabil dimension i sig själv som tycks vara viktig för ätstörningar, men som inte har samband med ätstörningssymtom. I studie III undersöktes förhållandet mellan AM och självrapporterad anknytningsstil (ASQ) i en icke-klinisk grupp och tre patientgrupper. Det fanns signifikanta korrelationer mellan alla skattningar på AMI-S/A och ASQ, med undantag av medvetenhet om skuld. Regressionsanalyser visade att AM, och speciellt medvetenhet om andras affekter, bidrog signifikant till anknytningsstilen. AM och i synnerhet egen glädje och andras skuld och ilska verkar vara av betydelse för anknytningsstil. I studie IV undersöktes betydelse av AM för behandlingsprocessen i olika former av samtalsbehandling. Patienternas AM före behandlingen var signifikant korrelerad med deras positiva känslor gentemot sina terapeuter vid det tredje samtalet, men inte med deras alliansskattning vid detta samtal. Patienternas negativa känslor var inte relaterade till deras AM före behandlingen men däremot till låg alliansskattning vid de tidigare samtalen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2012. , 82 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 551Linköping Studies in Behavioural Science, ISSN 1654-2029 ; 161
Keyword [en]
Affect, affect consciousness, affect consciousness interview- self/other, emotion, psychopathology, relationships
Keyword [sv]
Affekt, affektmedvetenhet, affektmedvetenhetsintervjun-själv/andra, AMI-S/A, emotion, känsla, psykopatologi, relation
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-75524OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-75524DiVA: diva2:507757
Public defence
2012-03-30, sal 101, Hus I, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-03-06 Created: 2012-03-06 Last updated: 2017-12-15Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Consciousness about own and others affects: A study of the validity of a revised version of the Affect Consciousness Interview
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Consciousness about own and others affects: A study of the validity of a revised version of the Affect Consciousness Interview
2008 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 49, no 6, 515-521 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Consciousness about own and others affects: A study of the validity of a revised version of the Affect Consciousness Interview.

This study presents a modified version of the affect consciousness interview (Monsen, Eilertsen, Melgard & Odegard, 1996), intended to capture the individuals affective consciousness. The aim of the modified version - The Affect Consciousness Interview - Revised (ACI-R) - is to measure consciousness about own and others affects. Three groups of patients (with eating disorder, relational and social problems or stress-related problems), and one non-clinical group were included in the study (N = 95). The results indicated that it was possible to achieve adequate interrater reliability, that the scores correlated meaningfully with other measures of mental functioning, and that the interview discriminated between different clinical groups and non-clinical participants. In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that the ACI-R is a promising instrument and that it should be explored further in order to study the organization of self-experiences and the ability to be emotionally present in interactions with others.

Keyword
Affect consciousness, Affect Consciousness Interview, ACI-R
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-16100 (URN)10.1111/j.1467-9450.2008.00666.x (DOI)
Available from: 2009-01-07 Created: 2009-01-07 Last updated: 2017-12-14
2. Affect consciousness and eating disorders. Short term stability and subgroup characteristics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Affect consciousness and eating disorders. Short term stability and subgroup characteristics
2012 (English)In: European eating disorders review, ISSN 1072-4133, E-ISSN 1099-0968, Vol. 20, no 1, e50-e55 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of the study was to analyse differences in observer rated affect consciousness (AC) between subgroups of patients diagnosed with eating disorders (N=44; 30 with anorexia nervosa and 14 with bulimia nervosa), and a non-clinical group (N=40). Another aim was to study the short-term stability of AC over 1011 weeks of treatment and its relation to self-reported eating pathology and general psychopathology. A moderate short-term stability of AC was found but the levels were not correlated with eating pathology or psychopathology. No differences between the two diagnostic categories were found, but the eating disorder group as whole had significantly lower AC compared with a non-eating disorder reference group. AC seems to be a moderately stable ability that differentiates patients diagnosed with eating disorders from a non-clinical population. However, AC is not related to symptoms of eating disorder or general psychiatric symptoms in this group of patients.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley and Sons, 2012
Keyword
affect consciousness, affect consciousness interview - revised, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, stability
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-75114 (URN)10.1002/erv.1091 (DOI)000298792700006 ()
Available from: 2012-02-21 Created: 2012-02-17 Last updated: 2017-12-07
3. Affect Consciousness and Adult Attachment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Affect Consciousness and Adult Attachment
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The concept of affect consciousness refers to the ability to perceive, reflect upon, express and respond to one’s own or other individuals’ affective experiences. The aim of this study was to investigate how affect consciousness and adult attachment are related. Three clinical groups (eating disorders, relational problems, and stress-related problems), and one non-clinical group (total N = 82) completed the Attachment Style Questionnaire and were interviewed using the Affect Consciousness Interview – Self/Other. Results showed associations between high affect consciousness and secure attachment, and between low affect  consciousness and insecure attachment. Moreover, attachment style was predicted by consciousness about others’ and own affects in general, and specifically by consciousness about others’ anger and guilt, and by own joy. Affect consciousness as a potential dimension or moderator of attachment merits further investigation.

National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-75522 (URN)
Available from: 2012-03-06 Created: 2012-03-06 Last updated: 2014-11-28Bibliographically approved
4. The influence of the patient‟s affect consciousness on the early treatment process
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The influence of the patient‟s affect consciousness on the early treatment process
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Several predictors of the quality of the therapeutic relationship have been studied, but the influence of patient‟s affect consciousness has not sufficiently analyzed. In this study, the relationship between the patient‟s affect consciousness and her experiences of the early therapeutic relationship was analysed. Affect consciousness was understood to imply awareness and tolerance of one‟s own and others‟ affective reactions and consciousness about the verbal and non-verbal expression of one‟s own and others‟ affects. Fifty-three female patients and 32 therapists took part in the study. Thirty-five patients had eating disorders, eight patients had relational problems and ten patients had stress related problems. It was hypothesized that feelings towards the therapist would be more influenced by the patient‟s affect consciousness than the alliance. The results showed that the patients‟ affect consciousness, especially consciousness about shame and fear, had significant associations with the patients‟ positive feelings towards the therapist at the three first sessions. A regression analysis indicated that warm and positive feelings towards the therapist were accounted for by the patient‟s consciousness about his or her own affects, even when previous alliance ratings were controlled for. Cold feelings at the third session, on the other hand, were associated with the patient‟s previous alliance ratings but not with the patient‟s affect consciousness. The results suggest that the patient‟s affect consciousness has importance for positive feelings towards the therapist, but negative feelings are primarily influenced by previous problems in the alliance. It would probably enhance the treatment process to work with the patients‟ affect consciousness.

National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-75523 (URN)
Available from: 2012-03-06 Created: 2012-03-06 Last updated: 2014-11-28Bibliographically approved

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