Talking About Daily Emotional Events: Psychological Well-Being Moderates the Intensity-Disclosure Link

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The intensity of distressing events predicts people’s disclosure of those events at between-person and within-person levels. Depression symptoms seem to attenuate the within-person relation, but past research has not taken a multidimensional view of depression as a moderator. The authors tested whether two constructs related to depression-general psychological well-being and life satisfaction-account for depression’s moderating effects. In a daily diary study, college students (N = 116) rated the intensity of the day’s most unpleasant event and their disclosure of the event each day for 14 days. Participants completed measures of disclosure tendencies, depression symptoms, well-being, and life satisfaction prior to the diary portion of the study. Multilevel modeling analyses revealed moderating effects of disclosure tendencies and depression on the within-person intensity–disclosure relation. However, when psychological well-being and life satisfaction were entered, depression was no longer a significant moderator, but well-being was. Psychological well-being therefore determines the expression of individual differences in the disclosure of daily emotional events.


This article was originally published as Ryan, M. B., & Kahn, J. H. (2015). Talking about daily emotional events: Psychological well-being moderates the intensity-disclosure link. Personality and Individual Differences, 83, 223–227.