Emotional self-knowledge profiles and relationships with mental health indicators support value in 'knowing thyself'

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"Know thyself" may be indicated by a balanced high pairing of two emotional self-knowledge indicators: attention to emotions and emotional clarity. Closely associated but often evaluated separately, emotional clarity is consistently, inversely associated with psychopathology, while evidence regarding attention to emotions is less consistent. Variables of high/low emotional clarity and attention to emotions yielded four emotional self-knowledge profiles which were analyzed for associations with mental health indicators (depression and anxiety symptoms, self-esteem, self-schema, resiliency, transcendence) in n = 264 adolescents. Here we report regression models which show that compared with neither, both high (attention + clarity) show higher positive self-schema (B = 2.83, p = 0.004), more resiliency (B = 2.76, p = 0.015) and higher transcendence (B = 82.4, p < 0.001), while high attention only is associated with lower self-esteem (B = − 3.38, p < 0.001) and more symptoms (B = 5.82, p < 0.001 for depression; B = 9.37, p < 0.001 for anxiety). High attention only is associated with most severe impairment all indicators excepting transcendence. Profiles including high clarity suggest protective effects, and 'implicit' versus 'explicit' emotional awareness are discussed. Balanced vs. imbalanced emotional self-awareness profiles dissimilarly affect mental health, which have implications for treatment and policy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7900
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2024


  • Emotional self-awareness
  • Self-knowledge
  • Self-mentalizing
  • Positive mental health
  • Adolescence
  • Psychology
  • Human behaviour
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Emotions
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Self Concept
  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety/psychology
  • Depression/psychology


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