Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences


Pharmaceutical Sciences

First Advisor

Nicholas Papouchis

Committee Chair and Members

Nicholas Papouchis, Chair

Kevin Meehan

Lisa Samstag


Emotion regulation, Mentalizing, Ostracism, Overinclusion, Social participation


Prior studies have shown that attachment styles interact with social inclusion to impact belonging, self-esteem, control, sense of meaning, and positive mood. No studies have investigated how the interaction of attachment and social participation impacts selfregulatory mechanisms. The main goal of this study was to address this gap and investigate how the interaction of different social participation conditions (ostracism, overinclusion, inclusion) and attachment styles impact two regulatory mechanisms, specifically, mentalizing capacities and emotion regulation. Adult participants were recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk. This was the first study to demonstrate that ostracism and inclusion influence the relationship between attachment style and regulatory mechanisms. Specifically, in the ostracism condition, anxious attachment was associated with greater state emotion regulation difficulties, namely, limited ability to modulate emotional/behavioral responses and lack of emotional clarity. In the inclusion condition, avoidant attachment was associated with lower online mentalizing. The exploratory study demonstrated how different aspects of dispositional mentalizing mediate the relationship between attachment and emotion regulation. Specifically, avoidant and anxious attachment were negatively related to state emotion regulation difficulties, and this was mediated by dispositional uncertainty of mental states. Avoidant attachment was positively related to state emotion regulation difficulties, and this was mediated by a disposition for adequate mentalizing. Finally, results emphasize the importance of improving construct validity in the self-report measure of dispositional mentalizing.

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