Anxiety and Depression: The Moderating Effects of Attention to Emotion and Emotional Clarity

Damla Yildirim, Jaume Vives, Sergi Ballespí

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health problems. They often occur together and significantly affect well-being and daily functioning. However, it is unclear to what extent the two dimensions of meta-mood knowledge play a role in their comorbidity. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to examine the role of attention to emotion and emotional clarity in the relationship between anxiety and depression. A sample of 256 adults aged 32–66 years (M = 46.21, SD = 5.53; 82.03% women) completed questionnaires on anxiety, depression, and meta-mood knowledge. Results showed that emotional clarity buffered the relationship between anxiety and depression. In addition, all combinations of attention to emotion and emotional clarity showed a significant and positive relationship with anxiety and depression symptom severity, with one exception. Interestingly, there was no statistically significant relationship between anxiety and depression when attention to emotion was low and emotional clarity was high. This last condition was interpreted as beneficial rather than detrimental, which in turn could help promote psychological resilience to better cope with emotional difficulties. Given these findings, this study highlights the role of attention to emotion and emotional clarity in assessing anxiety and risk of comorbid depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332941211070764
Number of pages14
JournalPsychological Reports
Early online date21 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • ASSOCIATION
  • DISORDER
  • MINDFULNESS
  • MOOD
  • PSYCHOPATHOLOGY
  • SCALED VERSION
  • VALIDITY
  • anxiety
  • attention to emotion
  • comorbidity
  • depression
  • emotional clarity
  • emotionally overwhelmed

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