Meta-mood knowledge moderates the relationship between neuroticism and depression but not between neuroticism and anxiety in a sample of nonclinical adolescents

Damla Yildirim, Jaume Vives, Sergi Ballespí*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Research shows a strong link between neuroticism and internalizing psychopathology, such as depression and anxiety. However, it is unclear to what extent meta-mood knowledge (i.e., attention to emotion and emotional clarity) plays a role as a moderator in this relationship. To investigate this, we collected data on meta-mood knowledge, personality traits, depression, and anxiety in a sample of adolescents (N = 244; 53.7% girls) aged 12 to 18 years (M = 14.6, SD = 1.7) from Catalonia, Spain. Regarding the relationship between neuroticism and depression, results showed that emotional clarity buffered this relationship. Although attention to emotion did not, the joint moderating effect of attention to emotion and emotional clarity was significant. The results on the four different combinations of attention to emotion and emotional clarity showed that the relationship between neuroticism and depression was strongest for high attention and low clarity, less strong for low attention and low clarity, and even lower for high attention and high clarity. And importantly, these similar patterns of association disappeared at low attention and high clarity. In contrast to the relationship between neuroticism and depression, we found no statistically significant moderating effects for the relationship between neuroticism and anxiety. Based on these results, we argue the importance of examining individual differences in emotion-based cognition and understanding when the benefits of emotional clarity are associated with fewer disadvantages of excessive attention. These results provide preliminary evidence that the combination of low attention and high clarity may be an adaptive version of emotional self-awareness in relation to neuroticism and depression.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Emotional self-awareness
  • Neuroticism

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Meta-mood knowledge moderates the relationship between neuroticism and depression but not between neuroticism and anxiety in a sample of nonclinical adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this