Cancer Control Research5R03CA096468-02
Langer, Shelby L.
CAREGIVER DESYNCHRONY:SUBJECTIVE AND EXPRESSIVE EMOTION
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This R03, in response to PA-00-106 Basic and Translational Research in Emotion, will focus on spousal caregivers (CGs) of hematopoietic stem cell transplant (SCT) patients - persons known to report elevated levels of depression and anxiety as compared to their patient counterparts. The specific aims of the proposed investigation are: 1) examine expression of negative emotion among CGs - as function of patient presence, a situational variable, 2) examine desynchrony among subjective and expressive indicators of emotion, as a function of patient presence and 3) examine correlates of dispositional inhibition desynchrony. Forty SCT couples will be recruited for the study, one year post-transplant. CGs will complete measures affect, dispositional inhibition, marital satisfaction and physical health. In a within-subjects design, CGs will then engage in two videotaped, oral emotional expression (EE) exercises - one in the presence of the patient the other in the absence of the patient. (The patient will not appear in the video.) Blinded raters exposed either to transcripts or facial videos of the sessions will make judgments about the negativity of CGs' lexical and facial expressions, respectively. In line with work on protective buffering and chronic inhibition, CGs are predicted express greater negativity and synchrony in the absence versus presence of the patient; inverse relationships between desynchrony and marital satisfaction, and desynchrony and health, are also predicted. This small grant will allow us to demonstrate feasibility for assessing EE and the existence of desynchrony among CGs. Findings will support an R01 designed to examine implications of such desynchrony: physiologic mechanisms, long-term psychological, physical and interpersonal sequelae. As survivorship expands, so too does the pool of long-term CGs. Collectively, this work will serve as a springboard for person-specific and relationship-protective interventions.