• Development of an early memories of warmth and safeness scale and its relationship to psychopathology.

      Richter, Anne; Gilbert, Paul; McEwan, Kirsten; Kingsway Hospital; University of Derby (British Psychological Society, 2009-06)
      Experiences of early childhood have a major impact on physiological, psychological, and social aspects of maturation and functioning. One avenue of work explores the recall and memory of positive or negative rearing experiences and their association with psychopathology measures. However, while many self‐report studies have focused on the recall of parental behaviours this study developed a new measure called the early memories of warmth and safeness scale (EMWSS), which focuses on recall of one's own inner positive feelings, emotions and experiences in childhood. Student participants (N=180) completed the new scale and a series of self‐report scales measuring different types of early recall, psychopathology, types of positive affect, and self‐criticism/reassurance. The EMWSS was found to have good psychometric properties and reliability. Recall of parental behaviour and recall of positive emotional memories were highly related, but recall of positive emotional memories was a better predictor of psychopathology, styles of self‐criticism/self‐reassurance and disposition to experience positive affect, than recall of parental behaviour.
    • An exploration of different types of positive affect in students and patients with bipolar disorder.

      Gilbert, Paul; McEwan, Kirsten; Mitra, Ranjana; Richter, Anne; Franks, Leigh; Mills, Alison; Bellew, Rebecca; Gale, Corinne; Kingsway Hospital; University of Derby (Giovanni Fioriti Editore, 2009-08)
      Objective: Depue and Morrone-Strupinsky (2005) distinguished between two different types of positive affect regulation system: 1. relates to activated positive affects such as excitement, joy and vitality; and 2. relates to positive affects associated with peacefulness, contentment and well-being, and is linked to the experience of attachment and social safeness. In addition, people can derive positive feelings from doing social things (e.g. enjoying being with friends), and non-social things (e.g. watching a sunset). The first aim of this study was to develop two scales to assess the enjoyment of social and non-social events and to explore how these relate to the two types of affect regulation. In addition, we explore how these two types of positive affect regulation system are related to measures of affective temperament linked to mood disorders. The second aim was to explore these dimensions in people who have a bipolar disorder. Method: Students (n=202) and patients with bipolar disorder (n=49) completed a set of self-report scales measuring: social and non-social positive affect; different types of positive affect; social rank; current affective temperament and mood. Results: Our data showed that, in both patient and student groups, non-social positive affect has few correlations with other types of positive affect and affective temperament. In contrast, the pleasures derived from social relationships are significantly related to other types of positive affect and mood linked affective temperaments. Conclusions: Social and non-social positive affect seem to operate quite differently. It is the positive affects that we receive from our social relationships that are most significantly linked to affective temperament and social rank variables. This finding may have implications for pharmacological, psychological and social therapies.
    • Feeling safe and content: A specific affect regulation system? Relationship to depression, anxiety, stress, and self-criticism.

      Gilbert, Paul; McEwan, Kirsten; Mitra, Ranjana; Franks, Leigh; Richter, Anne; Rockliff, Helen; University of Derby; Kingsway Hospital (Taylor and Francis, 2008-06-17)
      Recent work in the neuroscience of positive affect has suggested that there may be two different types of positive affect. One is linked to a drive/seeking system (and may be dopaminergic mediated) and the other is a soothing-contentment system (and may be opiate/oxytocin mediated). This study sought to develop a self-report scale that could tap these positive affects in regard to characteristic feelings individuals may have. Results from 203 students suggested three (rather than two) underlying factors: activated positive affect, relaxed positive affect, and safe/content positive affect. It was the safe/content positive affect that had the highest negative correlations with depression, anxiety and stress, self-criticism, and insecure attachment. Hence, greater clarity on the different types and functions of positive affect may demystify the relationship between positive emotions and well-being.