This Mentored Clinical Scientists Development Award (MCSDA-K08) will assist the applicants development as an educator and investigator in the contribution of emotions to mental health in older adults. During the award period, the applicant will develop expertise in two primary components of emotions as related to late-life psychopathology. subjective experience and facial expression. While concentrating in these areas, the applicant also will become informed about the third component of emotions, their biological underpinnings, with a view toward developing collaborative research examining their biological implications in psychopathology. In pursuit of these aims, during years 1-3 of the award period the applicant will conduct and report on a study of the subjective experience and facial expression of discrete emotions in late-life major depressive disorder (MDD) in a sample of psychiatric outpatients and matched normal controls. During year 3-5 of the award, these issues will be examined in late-life subsyndromal depression (SSD) in a sample of primary care patients. Principal methods will include use of the experience sampling method (ESM), in which participants are signaled with an electronic pager 56 times during the course of a one-week period to complete brief emotion rating scales, and use of the Emotion Facial Action Coding System (EMFACS). In which videotaped conversations are coded for evidence of facial muscle actions shown in previous research to constitute specific emotion expressions. The primary hypotheses of the first study are (a) that basic emotions that are not ordinarily considered in assessments of MDD occur more frequently and intensely in patients with MDD than in normal controls and are associated with the severity of depressive symptoms; (b) that specific blends of emotions are more likely to occur in MDD and are associated with more severe depressive symptoms; and that divergences between self-report and facial expression measures of negative emotions are associated with MDD diagnosis, alexithymia, and somatization. This study will form the basis of a program of research in which the methodologies of ESM and coding of facial expressions for emotions, coupled with collaborative investigation of the neurobiological correlates of emotions, will be applied to a range of other late-life psychopathologies. This MCSDA will allow the applicant to develop a career as an independent investigator, and a leadership position nationally in the study of emotion in late-life psychopathology.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Clinical Investigator Award (CIA) (K08)
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Mental Disorders of Aging Review Committee (MDA)
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Goldschmidts, Walter L
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University of Rochester
Schools of Dentistry
United States
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Sanftner, Jennifer L; Tantillo, Mary; Seidlitz, C S Larry (2004) A pilot investigation of the relation of perceived mutuality to eating disorders in women. Women Health 39:85-100
Seidlitz, L; Lyness, J M; Conwell, Y et al. (2001) Profile of discrete emotions in affective disorders in older primary care patients. Gerontologist 41:643-51
Seidlitz, L (2001) Personality factors in mental disorders of later life. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 9:8-21