ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 3, Issue 5, 750-767, 2012
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Elevated Affective Lability and Poor Response Inhibition: An Investigation based on Emotional and Non-Emotional Go/No-Go Tasks

Han-Joo Lee(a), Jennifer E. Turkel(a), Douglas W. Woods(a), Scott F. Coffey(b), Amy R. Goetz(a)
(a) Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
(b) Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of Mississippi Medical Center

Volume 3, Issue 5, 2012, Pages 750-767

The aim of the current study was to test the association between affective lability and the magnitude of response inhibition deficits using four different versions of go/no-go tasks that were composed of (a) affective faces, (b) affective words, (c) neutral faces, or (d) neutral words, with an undergraduate sample that displayed a wide range of emotional instability and impulsivity (N = 45). We hypothesized that heightened affective lability would be significantly associated with deficits in response inhibition, particularly in the context of emotional go/no-go tasks that presented salient and potent emotional materials. Overall findings showed that the magnitude of difficulty in inhibiting potent but irrelevant stimuli on emotional go/no-go tasks was significantly associated with heightened affective lability (characterized by unstable shifts between elated and depressed moods) after taking into consideration the contribution of negative affect and impulsiveness. In contrast, non-emotional go/no-go performance did not significantly predict affective lability. Further, depression-elation mood shifts were significantly associated with greater difficulty in inhibiting irrelevant positive rather than negative emotional information. This line of research may help improve our understanding on the nature of poor inhibitory control associated with conditions characterized by emotional dysregulation.

Table of Contents
Affective Lability Scale - Short form (ALS-18; Oliver & Simons, 2004).
Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11 (BIS-11; Patton, Stanford, & Barratt, 1995).
Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21; Lovibond & Lovibond, 1995).
Emotional and Non-Emotional Go/No-Go Tasks
Data Analytic Strategy
Clinical Characteristics of the Sample
Zero-Order and Partial Correlations between Affective Lability and RID indices
Associations between Affective Lability Domains and RID Indices
The Impact of Emotional Valence on the Association between the ALS Depression-Elation and Emotional RID Indices

Correspondence to
Constance Hammen, Department of Psychology, Box 951563, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563.

depression, interpersonal, children of depressed mothers, stress generation, stress continuity

Received 15 Jul 2011; Revised 14 May 2012; Accepted 14 May 2012; In Press 4 Nov 2012

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