Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Psychology
The present study discussed talking about emotions with other people and the important role in emotional recovery (Rimé, 2009). Individuals with depression, however, have been shown to disclose less personal information than individuals without depression (Kahn & Garrison, 2009). Little is known about the roles of acceptance of emotions and emotional intensity in the association between depression symptoms and emotional disclosure. The degree to which one believes their emotions are acceptable and the perceived intensity of emotional events might be mediators of the depression-disclosure relation. The hypotheses of the study include: Depressive symptoms will be negatively associated with emotional disclosure. Individuals reporting more depression symptoms will experience less subjective intensity of emotion in response to a real-life unpleasant event they are asked to recall. Individuals reporting more depression symptoms will view emotions concerning the negative event as less acceptable. The negative relationship between depression symptoms and emotional disclosure will be mediated by (a) acceptability of emotions and (b) emotional intensity. The study included 230 participants (college students from the Department of Psychology Participant Pool) who are at least 18 years of age. The Patient Health Questionnaire was used to measure the participant's severity of depression. Participants were then instructed to write about a time when they felt sad in the past month in as much detail as possible. Next, participants rated the intensity and negativity of the sad event. Trained, external raters blind to other study data also rated the intensity and negativity of participants' sad event. Acceptability of emotions was measured using the acceptability subscale from the Meta Evaluation scale. Further, emotional disclosure was measured using three items from Garrison and Kahn’s (2010) study. Results showed a negative relationship between depression and emotional disclosure; however, it is non-significant. Results also showed depression symptoms had a significant relationship with emotional intensity suggesting the higher the depression score, the higher emotional intensity according to participants emotional intensity self-reports and emotional intensity difference scores. Further, depression symptoms and acceptability of emotions had a negative and significant relationship. This suggest individuals with more depression symptoms are less likely to rate emotions as acceptable. Participants’ emotional intensity self-reports and emotional intensity difference scores were also significant with emotional disclosure indicating higher intensity leads to higher likelihood of emotionally disclosing. Lastly, emotional intensity mediated the relationship between depression and emotional disclosure even when gender was used as control. Limitations, future directions, and implications are discussed.
KEYWORDS: Depression; emotional disclosure; emotional intensity; acceptability of emotions
Vera, Brandie, "Mediation Among Depression, Acceptability of Emotions, Emotional Intensity and Emotional Disclosure" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 1476.