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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Kentucky: Socioemotional Selectivity Theory in ALS Patients and Their Caregivers

A group of investigators from the University of Kentucky (UK) have published new research on the mental health of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis  (ALS) and their caregivers.

Socioemotional selectivity theory predicts that as the end of life approaches, goals and resources that provide immediate, hedonic reward become more important than those that provide delayed rewards. This study tested whether these goal domains differentially affected psychological health in the context of marital dyads in which one partner had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a life-limiting disease.

“The results provide good support for socioemotional selectivity theory’s implications for psychological health,” the authors conclude.

The article “Socioemotional selectivity and psychological health in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients and caregivers: a longitudinal, dyadic analysis” appears in Psychology and Health.

Dr. Suzanne Segerstrom, a professor of psychology in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, who also holds an MPH from the University College of Public Health, is the first and corresponding author. Co-authors are Dr. Edward J. Kasarskis, of the UK College of Medicine, along with Dr. David W. Fardo,  and Dr. Philip M. Westgate, both of the University of Kentucky College of Public Health Department of Biostatistics.