Congratulations to clinical psychology student Andrea (Woznica) Linett, who successfully defended her doctoral dissertation on September 7, 2016, entitled “An Examination of Responses to Distinct Laboratory Stressors in Individuals with Bulimia Nervosa Compared to Those Without a History of Eating Disorders.”


Andrea’s dissertation used an experimental paradigm to explore the effects of different stressor-types on individuals with bulimia, as well as the potential impact of social anxiety symptoms and related factors on stress response in this population. A total of 56 females  (28 diagnosed with bulimia, and 28 controls without a history of eating disorders) completed self-report measures and underwent three laboratory stressors (with order counterbalanced): a modified Trier Social Stress Test (a psychosocial stressor), a carbon dioxide challenge (a physiological stressor), and a body image stressor (an eating disorder-specific stressor). Subjective and cardiovascular responses were measured. Contrary to hypotheses, significant between-group differences in stressor response were not consistently revealed. An examination of Cohen’s d values, however, suggested that the magnitude of group differences represented practically significant effects. Inconsistent with hypotheses, neither social anxiety symptoms nor associated factors consistently predicted stress reactivity in either group. Although binge eating was not behaviourally measured, the finding that different stressor-types did not lead directly to increased hunger and desire to eat is notable and consistent with the cognitive behavioural theory of BN. With continued study of social anxiety in association with bulimic symptomatology — particularly in the context of stressful events — further insight into the maintenance of bulimia might be revealed.


Andrea just completed her pre-doctoral internship at the London Clinical Psychology Residency Consortium, and she will be starting work in October as a Psychologist in Supervised Practice within two private practice clinics in the GTA (CBT Associates and B&C Health).


A special thank you to members of her supervisory committee, Dr. Marty Antony and Dr. Colleen Carney, and members of her examination committee, Dr. Colleen Carney, Dr. Eric Hehman, Dr. Dale Smith (English) and Dr. Stephen Wonderlich (external examiner, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences). Thanks also to Dr. Kenise Kilbride (Chair of the defence, Professor Emerita from the School of Early Childhood Studies).


Congratulations Andrea on a truly outstanding job! We will miss you in the lab and so appreciate your excellent research efforts in many projects over these seven years.  – Kristin Vickers