Disentangling the Effects of Depression Symptoms and Adult Attachment on Emotional Disclosure

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Individuals with high levels of depression symptoms and individuals with insecure attachment orientations have been shown to limit their use of emotional disclosure as a means of emotion regulation. However, little is known about how depression symptoms and insecure attachment orientations might jointly predict whether individuals engage in emotional disclosure. The authors addressed this question using both inter- and intraindividual approaches. College students (N = 121) completed measures of depression symptoms, adult attachment orientation, and generalized disclosure tendencies. To obtain an intraindividual measure of emotional disclosure, participants also completed an online daily diary in which they rated the intensity of the day's most unpleasant event and their disclosure of that event for 7 days. Results indicated that depression symptoms were negatively related to generalized disclosure tendencies and to intraindividual daily intensity-disclosure slopes. Attachment avoidance was negatively related to both generalized disclosure tendencies and to daily disclosure, and attachment anxiety moderated the relation between daily event intensity and disclosure. The authors discuss the implications for theory and counseling psychology practice. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)


This article was originally published as Garrison, A. M., Kahn, J. H., Sauer, E. M., & Florczak, M. A. (2012). Disentangling the effects of depression symptoms and adult attachment on emotional disclosure. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 59(2), 230–239. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026132.