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Title: An investigation into the relationship between approach-related responses and positive affect in bipolar disorder
Author: Delduca, Claire
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 8437
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2012
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Background: The Behavioural Activation System dysregulation theory of Bipolar Disorder (BD) proposes that (hypo)manic episodes represent prolonged periods of elevated approach-motivation and high-activation positive affect (PA). Excessive goal-setting behaviour and increased engagement in stimulating activities have been found amongst people with BD and may interact with elevated approach-motivation, contributing to an “upward spiral”. Hypotheses were: both i) approach-related behaviours in response to PA; and ii) high-activation PA, will be more common in individuals with BD than those without; iii) individuals with BD will be more likely to respond to high-activation PA than to low-activation PA with approach-related behaviours, compared to individuals without BD. Method: Individuals with BD and a non-clinical control group were tested. Participants completed measures of current hypomanic/depressive symptoms, trait PA, and two versions of two measures of response to PA, asking about low-activation and high-activation PA. Results: The BD group used more approach-related responses to PA, particularly within high-activation mood states, compared to controls. The groups differed in their experience of different types of PA, due to the control group experiencing more low-activation PA. Limitations: It is unclear whether the findings are specific to BD or affective disorders in general, due to a lack of a clinical control group. The groups may also differ in their expectations of PA due to medication use and previous experience of mania. Conclusions: It may be therapeutically beneficial to help individuals with BD use non-approach-related strategies in response to high-activation PA. Further research would identify which strategies are most useful.
Supervisor: Wright, Kim; Russell, Leo Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Goal-attainment, approach-motivation, mania, bipolar disorder