Negative affect and emotion dysregulation among young people who inject drugs: An ecological momentary assessment

Dr. Mary E. Mackesy-Amiti’s study utilized ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to measure negative affect in people who inject drugs (PWID), and her study examined associations with borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptoms and hardships with emotion regulation, in the context of injection drug use. 

Participants used mEMA phone application to report on mood, substance use, and injection behavior for two weeks. Participants who completed at least two EMA assessments were included in the analysis. In multivariable mixed effects regression models, positive BPD screen, and difficulties with emotion regulation scale (DERS) score were associated with momentary negative affect intensity and instability.

Using the mEMA application on participants’ mobile phones, Dr. Mackesy-Amiti’s study was able to validate the findings of the EMA mood measure and the utility of studying mood and behavior among PWID.

Mary E. Mackesy-Amiti, PhD

Research Assistant Professor at the University Chicago