Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2016

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Markon, Kristian

First Committee Member

Nikolas, Molly

Second Committee Member

O'Hara, Michael

Third Committee Member

Treat, Teresa

Fourth Committee Member

Vaidya, Jatin


Externalizing behaviors have been shown to exhibit within-individual changes, increasing the need to identifying factors that influence such behavior to be more or less likely to occur in any given moment. The current study aimed to contribute to the understanding of mechanisms that influence externalizing behavior using an intensive longitudinal design. Demographic variables and personality traits were measured at baseline. Momentary personality states, situational context, affect, decision-making processes, and externalizing behaviors were measured three times per day for seven days in a university sample (N = 170). Results: A new measure of momentary externalizing—Momentary-Externalizing Spectrum Inventory—was created as a practically feasible measure to administer multiple times per day and its psychometric properties were investigated. Trait disinhibition-versus-constraint predicted mean levels of externalizing behaviors. Results supported the incremental utility of personality states, such that they appear to offer additional predictive power for momentary externalizing behavior over and above personality traits. Candidate proximal mechanisms such as situational factors, momentary affect, and delay discounting were shown have the ability to predict momentary externalizing behavior in an ongoing temporally varying manner. Personality traits moderated some of these relationships between candidate proximal mechanisms and momentary externalizing behavior. Implications for the understanding of externalizing behaviors were discussed while hypotheses for future research were generated.


delay discounting, emotion, externalizing behavior, longitudinal, personality


xiv, 141 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 116-140).


Copyright © 2016 Ke Anne Zhang

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Psychology Commons