Disentangling the Effect of Depression Symptoms and Adult Attachment on Emotional Disclosure Crystal Taylor Suny Jefferson Community College Literature Review Emotional disclosure has important psychological and physical health benefits(Frontal, 2006), while non disclosure have been linked to negative outcomes in these areas (Kelly & Yip, 2006; Larson & Christian, 1990).
Disclosure also aids in emotional recovery from negative events because it promotes insights, fosters social support, and reduces negative emotions (Kennedy-Moore & Watson, 001). Individuals who are experiencing depression symptoms use maladaptive affect regulation strategies. Therefore, they tend to engage in lower levels of generalized disclosure (Kahn & Garrison, 2009) and less daily emotional disclosure when they experience emotionally intense events (Garrison & Kahn, 2010).
Individuals with an insecure adult attachment orientation also exhibit problems with affect regulation(Incliner, Shaver, & Pepper, 2003). Avoidably attached individuals tend to engage in lower levels of disclosure, while anxiously attached individuals eave generally been found to engage in higher levels of disclosure. No research in this area has looked at how attachment orientation impacts daily disclosure. Research also suggests that depression symptoms and insecure attachment are related to each other (e. G. , Riggs & Han, 2009).
Determining how depression symptoms and insecure attachment uniquely and Jointly contribute to emotional disclosure (both as a generalized tendency and in response to daily events) would help to clarify a convergence of theoretical ideas. This was the purpose of the study. Hypothesis Depression will be negatively related to generalized disclosure tendencies, and depression will moderate the daily-event intensity-disclosure relation. Attachment avoidance will be negatively related to emotional disclosure, and attachment anxiety will be positively related to emotional disclosure.
We pitted two opposing hypotheses against each other when considering what would happen with all three predictors in the model: (a) attachment orientation would explain the depression-disclosure relation such that depression symptoms and disclosure would not be related when monitoring for attachment versus (b) depression symptoms would explain the attachment disclosure relation such-that attachment and disclosure would not be related when controlling for depression symptoms.
Method Participants were 96 women and 25 men (N = 121, M age = 19. 76) from a large Midwestern university. The majority of participants in this study (n = 102; 84%) were European American. Most participants reported being single (n = 76; 63%) or in a dating relationship (n = 42; 35%). This study utilized a daily diary methodology (Bolder, Davis, & Rafael, 2003).
Participants first completed the following paper- and-pencil measures: Experiences in Close Relationships Scale (ACRES; Brenna, Clark, pm; Shaver, 1 8) to measure attachment avoidance and attachment anxiety (“l don’t feel comfortable opening up to romantic partners,” “l turn to my partner for many things, including comfort and reassurance”) Distress Disclosure Index (DID: Kahn & Hassling, 2001) to measure generalized disclosure tendencies (“If I have a bad day, the last thing I want to do is talk about it”) Inventory of Depression and Anxiety Symptoms (IDEAS; Watson et al. 007), to measure general depression symptoms (“l slept less than usual,” “l had little interest in my usual hobbies or activities”) Participants then completed the following measure online daily for the next 7 days: Daily Questionnaire (developed by the authors) to assess daily event intensity (“How intense was your emotional reaction to the unpleasant event right when it occurred? “) and daily emotional disclosure (“To what degree have you shared information about this unpleasant event with someone today [I. E. , by talking with someone, testing someone, posting an online message, etc. “) in response to the most negative event of the day. Discussion For generalized disclosure tendencies, attachment avoidance appears to be the most relevant variable of those we measured, whereas depression symptoms and attachment anxiety appear to be most relevant to daily disclosure following a negative event. We replicated previous research (Garrison & Kahn, 2010; Kahn & Garrison, 2009) that found depression symptoms to be negatively related to generalized disclosure tendencies and to moderate the relation between event intensity and daily disclosure of the event.
When regulating emotions, individuals high in attachment avoidance and attachment anxiety use deactivating and hyperventilating strategies, respectively (Incliner et al. , 2003), that may have influenced their disclosures. These findings suggest a benefit of integrating attachment, depression symptoms, and emotion regulation into theories of emotional disclosure, and they suggest a benefit to understanding the attachment orientation of clients experiencing depression. Sharing emotional experiences, or engaging in emotional disclosure, can be a cathartic process, resulting in reductions in stress, anxiety and tension. In an opposite manner, the active concealment of distressing information is associated with psychological distress and physical symptoms such as headaches and backaches,” said Angela M. Garrison of the Department of Counselor Education and Counselor Psychology at Western Michigan University. Similarly, people with depression or anxiety often suppress their emotions to avoid facing negative feelings. Research has shown that individuals who have attachment issues struggle with emotional disclosure as well.
Because emotional disclosure is so closely inked to depression and attachment, it is difficult to determine how each condition affects emotional regulation. “Specifically, depression symptoms and attachment are both associated with emotional disclosure, but depression symptoms and attachment are also related to each other,” said Garrison, lead author of a recent study on emotional disclosure. “For theory clarification, it is therefore important to disentangle the effect of depression symptoms on emotional disclosure from the potential effects of attachment on emotional disclosure. In order to isolate the effects, Garrison and ere colleagues assessed 121 college students for depression and attachment problems, as well as emotional disclosure using a daily diary for seven days. “Results indicated that depression symptoms were negatively related to generalized disclosure tendencies and to intro-individual daily intensity-disclosure slopes