The Colby Emotion and Mood Lab integrates theories and methods of basic emotion research and clinical psychology to further our understanding of the impact of stress and interpersonal functioning on emotional reactivity and mood disorders. Our research primarily focuses on depression during the transition to young adulthood, while also examining basic emotion processes in healthy individuals. One question of interest to our lab is how a strong sense of belonging within one’s community and its opposite, belonging uncertainty, impact mental health. Our lab utilizes a variety of research methods, including ecological momentary assessment, interpersonal laboratory tasks, diagnostic interviews, and quantitative self-report measures.

Current research projects in the Emotion and Mood Lab include 1) the use of experience sampling methods to identify patterns of interpersonal stress, stress reactivity, and depression in young adults, 2) identification of the factors that contribute to and interfere with social belonging on a college campus, and 3) a comparison of strategies to regulate anger.

For a more detailed description of current projects, select this link.

Selected Publications

(click on titles for PDFs)

* denotes Colby College student/alumnus author

Sheets, E. S., & Armey, M. F. (2020). Daily interpersonal and noninterpersonal stress reactivity in current and remitted depression. Cognitive Therapy and Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10608-020-10096-2

Huebschmann, N. A.*, & Sheets, E. S. (2020). The right mindset: Stress mindset moderates the association between perceived stress and depressive symptoms. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping, 33, 248-255. doi: 10.1080/10615806.2020.1736900

Rabasco, A. N.*, & Sheets, E. S. (2016). The effects of face-to-face and online social stress on emotion identification. Modern Psychological Studies, 22(1), 53-63.

Sheets, E. S., Bujarski, S., Leventhal, A. M., & Ray, L. A. (2015). Emotion differentiation and intensity during acute tobacco abstinence: A comparison of heavy and light smokers. Addictive Behaviors, 47, 70-73. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.03.024

Sheets, E. S., & Craighead, W. E. (2014). Comparing chronic interpersonal and noninterpersonal stress domains as predictors of depression recurrence in emerging adults. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 63, 36-42. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2014.09.001

Sheets, E. S., & Kraines, M.* (2014). Personality disorder traits as a moderator of poor social problem-solving skills and depressive symptoms. Journal of Individual Differences, 35(2), 103-110. doi: 10.1027/1614-0001/a000132

In the News

What’s On Your Mind? Colby Magazine, Summer 2013.

Erin Sheets

Lab Director, Associate Professor of Psychology

I received my A.B. in Psychology and Spanish from Duke University in 2001. I then attended graduate school at the University of Colorado at Boulder, completing my M.A. in 2004 and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2008. After completing a predoctoral internship in adult clinical psychology at Brown University, I received specialized training as a postdoctoral fellow in mood disorders and perinatal mental health at Brown University and Butler Hospital. I joined the faculty of Colby College in Fall 2010.

My primary line of research focuses on the interplay of personality and stress on the course of depression, particularly during emerging adulthood (ages 18 – 29). I also have expanded this to a second line of research examining interpersonally-relevant emotion regulation skills in nonclinical samples. Overall, my work identifies particular behaviors and skills deficits that may disrupt interpersonal relationships, increase negative affect, and lead to the onset of depression. I aim for this research to inform future, interpersonally-based depression prevention efforts.

 

Research Assistants

 

Maggie Hall ’20

I am a senior from Norfolk, Massachusetts majoring in Psychology with a Neuroscience concentration. I am interested in learning about mental health, learning disabilities, and Autism in children and adolescents. I hope to pursue a career as a clinical pediatric neuropsychologist. Currently on campus, I am an EMT and Chief of Service for Colby Emergency Response, a Maine Concussion Management Initiative (MCMI) research assistant, a Colby Cares About Kids (CCAK) mentor, a junior high tutoring program leader and tutor, and a psychology department tutor. In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching Netflix, traveling, volunteering, and exploring the outdoors.

 SJ Sahagun

SJ Sahagun ’20

I am a senior from Santa Clarita, California majoring in Psychology with a Neuroscience concentration. I am interested in the underlying biological causes of mental illnesses, particularly depression and anxiety. I am also hoping to attend medical school after Colby. On campus, I am a Colby Cares About Kids (CCAK) mentor and a member of club volleyball and Colby Emergency Response. In my free time, I like to go rock climbing, hiking, and hanging out with my friends.

Sonia Tremblay ’20

I am a Psychology and Biology: Neuroscience double major from Massachusetts. Aside from working in the Emotion and Mood Lab, I also work in the Social Development Lab, and as a Genetics Teaching Assistant. I’m also a Colby Cares About Kids (CCAK) mentor and a member of the Cross Country, Indoor, and Outdoor track teams at Colby! I am interested in Neuropsychology, and in my free time, I love reading, hiking, and drawing.

 

Lab Alumni

 Morganne Kraines

Morganne Kraines,’11

Morganne Kraines earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Oklahoma State University. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University. Morganne’s NIH-funded postdoctoral research aims to
develop an implicit measure of non-judgment of internal experiences as it relates to mindfulness treatment.

 Jess Blais

Jessica Blais,’12

Jessica Blais works as a School Psychologist within the Dedham Public Schools in Massachusetts.

 Stephanie Sienkiewicz

Stephanie (LaRose) Sienkiewicz,’12

Stephanie Sienkiewicz is attending the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program at Boston College. She earned a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Boston College in 2014, and she plans to focus her research on the ways in which gender identity and norms influence interpersonal, relational, and physical health in children and adults.

Kira Novak

Kira Novak,’12

 Shelley Kind

Shelley Kind,’13

Shelley Kind is attending the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at Suffolk University. She earned a Master of Science through the program in 2017. Her varied experiences this year include working with homeless veterans at VA Bedford, seeing patients with anxiety disorders through a private practice, and working with patients with HIV, chronic pain, and depressed mood in a research study at Boston Medical Center.

 Mariah Smith-Dutton

Mariah Smith-Dutton,’13

 

Rhiannon Archer

Rhiannon Archer,’14

Rhiannon Archer is an ABA Therapist at Autism Bridges in Bedford, NH, teaching and supporting children with Autism Spectrum Disorder through applied behavior analysis. She is also certified as a Registered Behavior Technician.

 

Kelsey Park,’14

Kelsey Park is the Community Partnerships Coordinator at the Restorative Justice Institute of Maine. She coaches restorative justice facilitators in Androscoggin, Penobscot, and Aroostook counties as well as support training and technical assistance for organizations to incorporate restorative practices into their programming.

Monica Li

Monica Li,’15

Anna Rabasco

Ana Rabasco,’15

Ana Rabasco is currently attending the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at Fordham University. Her research interests involve the causes of suicidal thoughts and behaviors and how non-suicidal self-injury relates to suicidality.

Jared Scharf

Jared Scharf,’15

Meredith Zakon

Meredith Zakon ’15

Meredith Zakon is attending the Tufts University School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program.

Anna Herling

Anna Herling, ’16

 

Misha Strage

Misha Strage ’16

Misha Strage is currently attending the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Mollie Rich

Mollie Rich ’17

Mollie Rich is a data manager/analyst at Turnaround for Children, an education nonprofit in New York.

 Celine El-Abboud

Celine El-Abboud ’18

Robbi Melvin

Robbi Melvin ’18

Yanlin Zhao ’18

Mahal Alvarez-Backus

Mahal Alvarez-Backus ’19

 

Cari Daniels

Cari Daniels ’19

 

Nathan Huebschmann

Nathan Huebschmann ’19

Nathan Huebschmann is working as a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is involved in a variety of research projects mostly focusing on the evaluation and outcome of sports-related concussion.

2017

Mollie and Mahal present a poster on rumination and social belonging in first-generation and continuing generation college students at the Society for Affective Science conference, April 2017.
Mollie and Mahal present a poster on rumination and social belonging in first-generation and continuing generation college students at the Society for Affective Science conference, April 2017.

2015

Monica and Meredith present a poster on anger regulation at the Society for Affective Science conference, April 2015.
Monica and Meredith present a poster on anger regulation at the Society for Affective Science conference, April 2015.
Anna presents a poster on an online version of the Trier Social Stress Test at the Society for Affective Science conference, April 2015.
Anna presents a poster on an online version of the Trier Social Stress Test at the Society for Affective Science conference, April 2015.

2013

Shelley and Erin present a poster on social problem-solving in depressed and non-depressed emerging adults at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies convention, November 2013.
Shelley and Erin present a poster on social problem-solving in depressed and non-depressed emerging adults at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies convention, November 2013.
Kelsey and Anna at the Waterville Farmers' Market before our end of summer lab dinner.
Kelsey and Anna at the Waterville Farmers’ Market for our end of summer lab dinner.
Anna Rabasco and Kelsey Park present research on barriers to social belonging the Colby Undergraduate Summer Research Retreat.
Anna Rabasco and Kelsey Park present research on barriers to social belonging at the Colby Undergraduate Summer Research Retreat, July 2013.
Kelsey Park, Rhiannon Archer, Mariah Smith, Monica Li, Shelley Kind, and Meredith Zakon at the spring lab dinner, May 2013.
Kelsey Park, Rhiannon Archer, Mariah Smith, Monica Li, Shelley Kind, and Meredith Zakon at our spring lab dinner, May 2013.

Kelsey Park presents social media and emotion processing research at the Colby Undergraduate Research Symposium, April 2013.

Kelsey Park presents social media and emotion processing research at the Colby Undergraduate Research Symposium, April 2013.

2012

Erin and Steph LaRose celebrate her honors research and graduation.
Erin and Steph LaRose celebrate her honors research and graduation, May 2012.
Steph LaRose, Kira Novak, Jess Blais, and Rhiannon Archer - all coding superstars - at our spring lab dinner.
Steph LaRose, Kira Novak, Jess Blais, and Rhiannon Archer – all coding superstars – at our spring lab dinner, May 2012.

2011

Morganne Kraines, the lab's first research assistant, and Erin at her graduation.
Morganne Kraines, the first Emotion and Mood Lab research assistant, and Erin during Morganne’s graduation weekend, May 2011.