Congratulations to our research assistants who presented at the Ninth Annual Women’s Health Research Symposium!

Cristina Ardelean, Megan Macfarlane, and Puloma Gupta presented posters at the 2024 Women’s Health Research Symposium held at UBC on Women’s Day!

Megan presented: “Does Income Level Moderate the Association of Gender and Rumination?”

“Rumination, commonly reported by women, involves repetitively dwelling on negative thoughts post-stress, leading to mental health issues like depression. This gender difference may be due to women facing unique stressors, such as lower income levels, increasing their susceptibility to rumination. The current study explored gender differences in rumination and the impact of income. Men reported higher incomes, but neither gender nor income predicted rumination levels independently. Gender-income interactions did not significantly affect rumination. Future research could explore how income moderates’ gender-rumination links in diverse populations, including other gender identities.”

Puloma presented: “Effects of Co-rumination & Co-distraction on State-level Rumination in Women”

“This study focused on women’s tendency to ruminate, which means repeatedly thinking about and dwelling on problems and distress. I looked at how talking with others either by discussing problems (co-rumination) or engaging in distracting conversations (co-distraction) affects rumination. I found that women ruminated more in the co-rumination than co-distraction condition. Additionally, their trait tendency to ruminate didn’t necessarily predict how much they ruminated in these interactions. This suggests that engaging in distracting conversations with others can help redirect focus and potentially reduce rumination, regardless of one’s natural tendency to ruminate.”

Cristina presented: “The Association of Emotion Regulation Strategies with Mothers’ Depressive Symptoms During the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Parents experienced significantly higher levels of COVID–19–related stress compared to adults without children. Mothers especially experienced significant distress, depressive symptoms, negative mood, and lower sleep quality during the COVID-19 pandemic. Emotion regulation (ER), including cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression, plays a critical role in how parents deal with stressful conditions. This study investigated how mothers’ tendency to use cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression was associated with their mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, as measured via their symptoms of depression. Our study found that mothers increased tendency to engage in cognitive reappraisal was associated with lower levels of depression after controlling for SES. Mothers increased tendency to engage in expressive suppression was associated with higher levels of depression before controlling for SES but not after. This research is important as it may inform mental health interventions focusing on the adaptive use of ER strategies to mitigate adverse mental health effects among mothers during periods of stress.