Department of Psychology

Current Projects

mood, emotion, & self-regulation

These studies seek to examine classic self-regulation models, as they relate to the onset and maintenance of anxiety and depression, through the lens of recent developments in emotion regulation research and psychophysiology. The first aim of these studies is to explore and clarify the theoretical relationships between self-regulation and emotion regulation. The second aim of these studies is to examine the effects of self-regulation strategies in a laboratory setting and in daily life. The third aim of these studies is to examine psychophysiological activity and its relationship to adaptive and maladaptive self-regulation strategies. Finally, the fourth aim of these studies is to examine these processes and their potential association to psychological well-being.

Selected Publications:

Pritchard, K. J., Mezo, P. G., & Gratz, K. L. (2019, May). The impact of interpersonal emotion regulation on mood symptoms and the role of reassurance seeking. Poster accepted to the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington DC, VA.

Radatz, E. E., Pritchard, K. J., & Mezo, P. G. (2019, May). Mindfulness as a mediator to influence social support in students with social anxiety. Poster accepted at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington DC, VA.

Herc, H. C., Pritchard, K. J., Harrison, B. N., Herr, S. E., & Mezo, P. G. (2019, April). Using virtual reality to compare types of mindfulness meditation. In P. G. Mezo (Chair), Mindfulness and related skills associated with proximal and distal outcomes. Symposium accepted at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Harrison, B. N., Pritchard, K. J., & Mezo, P. G. (2019, April). Perceived social support mediates mindfulness and positive affect. Poster accepted at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Pritchard, K. J., Herc, H. C., & Mezo, P. G. (2018, November). The role of social support in mindfulness and stressful life events. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Washington DC, VA.

Marshal, H. L., Pritchard, K. J., Herr, S. E., & Mezo, P. G. (2018, May). Social support mediates the effects of mindfulness on depression. Poster presented at the 25th Annual Symposium on Research in Psychiatry, Psychology and Behavioral Science, Toledo, OH.

Herr, S. E., Herc, H. C.,  & Mezo, P. G. (2018, April). Type of mindfulness meditation and emotion regulation deficits predict state mindfulness outcomes post meditation. Poster presented at the Symposium on Research in Psychiatry, Psychology and Behavioral Science, Toledo, OH.

Mindful interoceptive accuracy study

Interoceptive accuracy (IAc) is often measured by the heartbeat counting task in which individuals count their heartbeats over varying timed trials. The closer their estimate to the actual number of heartbeats, the more interoceptively accurate they may be. IAc has been found to be increased in individuals with and a greater ability to engage in healthy emotion regulation strategies (e.g., cognitive reappraisal) and better decision making. Interestingly, increased IAc has been found in individuals with increased anxiety symptomology. This study will use heart rate variability (HRV) as an indicator of mindful awareness versus maladaptive awareness to body sensations, specifically the heart, in those with high IAc. HRV is the variation in time between heartbeats (R-R interval). HRV reflects the interplay of the peripheral (PNS) and sympathetic (SNS) branches of the autonomic nervous system. When the R-R interval has more variation, the PNS is thought to be engaged, and the body at rest. When the R-R interval is regular, the SNS is thought to be engaged. Thus, this study hypothesizes that increased IAc and HRV will be an indicator of mindful body awareness, while increased IAc and low HRV will be an indicator of maladaptive, or anxious, body awareness. 

Toledo volleyball study

In collaboration with Dr. Mojisola Tiamiyu and Dr. Sarah Francis, this research study explores the risk and resiliency factors associated with volleyball play among youth. In this study, researchers from the University of Toledo are working with coaches and staff at the Toledo Volleyball Club. The goal of this project is to identify factors that may help volleyball players perform well, such mindfulness, perceived anxiety control, and grit. We also want to identify factors that may hinder performance or enjoyment when playing volleyball. Parents of players will also answer survey questions so that we can learn more about these factors.

Past Projects

ROBINSON MINDFULNESS PROJECT

In collaboration with Dr. Wesley Bullock and Dr. Sarah Francis, this research study examines the implementation of a Mindfulness-Based program at a local elementary school located within a lower socio-economic community. The program involves the integration of mindfulness into the school day in the form of a full mindfulness class which students attend on a regular basis. The study will track outcomes related to children’s overall mindfulness, academic performance, classroom behavior, and frequency of disciplinary actions. One of Dr. Mezo’s main interests within this study is to explore the psychometric properties of current mindfulness measures used for children/adolescents and ways to improve upon these measures.

Selected Publications:

Mezo, P. G., Herc, H. C., Pritchard, K. J., & Bullock, W. A. (2019). Evaluation and a proposed revision of the Child and Adolescent Mindfulness Measure among underrepresented elementary school children. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Pritchard, K. J., Herc, H. C., & Mezo, P. G. (2018, November). Testing a revised Child and Adolescent Mindfulness Measure for young children. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Washington DC, VA.

Last Updated: 8/22/19