Congratulations to Dr. Emily Prather

Emily Prather graduation
Congratulations to Dr. Emily Prather, an alumna of the Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab, who graduated with her Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi last week. I last saw Emily when she took a break from her predoctoral internship at Wellspan Behavioral Health in York, PA, to successfully defend her dissertation in April. Emily's dissertation focused on the role of anger, impulsivity, and emotion regulation in binge eating. After completing her internship last summer, she started a post doc position at Wellspan. She is now studying for the EPPP exam for licensure as a psychologist and beginning the job search process where she is interested in both clinical work and teaching.

It is fairly common for current doctoral students to have a hard time imagining that there will be a day when they reach the end of their graduate training. I certainly remember feeling that way. But like Emily just showed us, it really does happen. The classes, examinations, and dissertation writing do not last forever.

It was great to see Emily again for commencement and meet her family. Congratulations to Emily on the completion of her doctorate! Please stay in touch and let us know what is next for you.

Emily Prather Defends Dissertation on Anger and Binge Eating

Emily Prather successfully defended her doctoral dissertation yesterday at the University of Southern Mississippi, Predictors of Binge Eating in College Women. Emily's study evaluated the relationships among four theoretically relevant factors hypothesized to predict subclinical binge eating in a sample of college women: trait anger, anger suppression, impulsivity, and emotion regulation.

Emily started by confirming the four-factor structure of the UPPS Impulsivity Scale (Whiteside & Lynam, 2001) through confirmatory factor analysis. Multiple measures of impulsivity have been used in the literature, and the UPPS is one of the newer ones. Given that there has been some disagreement over the optimal factor structure, it was important to make sure that the four-factor structure of this measure would be confirmed in this sample. After confirming this factor structure, Emily found that the urgency and lack of perseverance factors predicted binge eating. Urgency was a hypothesized predictor, but the utility of perseverance was unexpected and suggests that the role of impulsivity in binge eating may be somewhat broader than previously thought.

Trait anger predicted binge eating over and above general negative affect, suggesting that there seems to be something about one's propensity to experience angry feelings that may be particularly useful in understanding binge eating. The tendency to suppress anger in an unhealthy manner also predicted binge eating, and both anger suppression and emotion regulation partially mediated the relationship between trait anger and binge eating. It appears that anger management and the development of emotion regulation strategies may be worth exploring for college women with subclinical binge eating.

Emily is currently
completing her predoctoral internship at Wellspan Behavioral Health in York, PA. She recently accepted a postdoc position with Wellspan to begin this summer.

Congratulations, Emily!