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OISE student Touraj Amiri wins CPA's Most Outstanding Poster Presentation

June 14, 2011

By Jennifer Sipos-Smith

Touraj Amiri, a Master's student in the Counselling Psychology program, wins the Outstanding Master’s Conference Poster at the Canadian Psychological Association’s 72nd Annual Conference held in Toronto earlier this month. The honour was awarded for Touraj's poster presentation entitled: The role of personality and emotion regulation on psychological health in trauma survivors.

"I feel very honoured to receive this award. It is very much appreciated. I'm very fortunate to be working with a pioneering research team at OISE. Every success in cutting edge research is the result of team effort and I'm very grateful to my supervisor, Dr. Jeanne Watson and my fellow graduate students in our research lab for their invaluable support and cooperation," Touraj said.

Here is an excerpt from Touraj's presentation:

"A growing body of literature is focusing on the influence of emotion regulation as well as personality factors on psychological health. However, little work has been done to explore the influence of personality on emotion regulation, and none of these studies have probed the relationships among personality, emotion regulation and psychological health. The current study intends to fill the gap by investigating the effect of the interaction between perfectionistic self-presentation and emotion regulation on psychological well-being.

The results indicate that higher level of perfectionistic self-presentation is associated with more difficulties in emotion regulation ability. Moreover, previous studies in our research lab and in the literature have already shown that both perfectionistic self-presentation and more difficulties in emotion regulation are associated with impaired psychological and somatic health. As such, we were interested in further examination of these two parallel observations. We hypothesized that the influence of personality on well-being is mediated through emotion regulation ability. The results confirm our hypothesis for psychological well-being i.e. depression and post traumatic stress symptoms.
These findings will have important implications for clinical practice. Although some personality traits such as perfectionistic self-presentation is considered vulnerability factor but all is not lost. It is possible to design interventions and skills training program to modify client’s perfectionistic tendencies, and improve client’s emotion regulation ability (the mediating variable) and hence, reduce the adverse effects of personality dispositions such perfectionistic self-presentation. The improved emotion regulation ability is expected, then, to facilitate recovery of a client with depressive and post traumatic stress symptoms. In other words, targeting mediating factors in addition to the main underlying vulnerability traits can serve an important therapeutic function. The extent of possible modifications and the size of the ensuing therapeutic effect remains to be determined in future research."

The Canadian Psychological Association was organized in 1939 and incorporated under the Canada Corporations Act, Part II, in May 1950. Its objectives are:
  • To improve the health and welfare of all Canadians;
  • To promote excellence and innovation in psychological research, education, and practice;
  • To promote the advancement, development, dissemination, and application of psychological knowledge; and
  • To provide high-quality services to members.