Influence of sad mood induction on implicit self-esteem and its relationship with symptoms of depression and anxiety

Lonneke A. van Tuijl, Johan R. L. Verwoerd, Peter J. de Jong

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

5 Citaten (Scopus)
153 Downloads (Pure)


Background and objectives
Implicit self-esteem (ISE) refers to the valence of triggered associations when the self is activated. Despite theories, previous studies often fail to observe low ISE in depression and anxiety. It is feasible that sad mood is required to activate dysfunctional self-associations. The present study tested the following hypotheses: i) ISE is lower following a sad mood induction (SMI); ii) the relationship between ISE and level of depression/anxiety symptoms is relatively strong when ISE is measured during sad mood; iii) individuals with higher levels of depression/anxiety symptoms will show a relatively large decrease in ISE following a SMI.

In this mixed-designed study, university students completed the self-esteem implicit association test (IAT) either at baseline (control condition; n = 46) or following a SMI (experimental condition; n = 49). To test the third hypothesis, a SMI and IAT were also given in the control condition. Both conditions completed self-report measures of explicit self-esteem (ESE), and symptoms of depression and anxiety.

There was no support for the first two hypotheses, but some support that symptoms of anxiety correlated with larger decreases in ISE following a SMI which partly supported the third hypothesis. This disappeared when controlling for multiple testing.

Results are limited to non-clinical participants.

While ISE was robust against increases in sad mood, there was some tentative support that symptoms of anxiety were related to larger decreases in ISE following a SMI.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)104-110
Aantal pagina's7
TijdschriftJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
StatusPublished - sep.-2018

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