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Self-discrepancy, Depression, Anxiety, and Psychological Well-Being: The Role of Affective Style and Self-efficacy

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Hellmann, JH 
Morina, N 


jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:sec jats:titleBackground</jats:title> jats:pSelf-discrepancy theory posits that greater discrepancy between the actual and ideal self is related to dysphoria and greater discrepancy between the actual and ought self to anxiety. Despite both being transdiagnostically associated with psychopathology, differential effects of actual:ideal and actual:ought discrepancies have not been confirmed. There is further lack of knowledge about cognitive and affective factors implicated in the relationship between self-discrepancies and depression and anxiety. We therefore examined the relationship of actual:ideal/actual:ought discrepancies with depression, anxiety, and psychological well-being, and whether affective styles (concealing, adjusting, and tolerating) and self-efficacy emerge as mediators or moderators.</jats:p> </jats:sec>jats:sec jats:titleMethods</jats:title> jats:pSelf-discrepancies were measured as discrepancies in the Big Five taxonomy of personality. Participants (jats:italicN</jats:italic> = 596) responded to the 10-item Big Five Inventory and ideal/ought versions of these traits, and measures of affective styles, self-efficacy, depressive and anxiety symptoms, and well-being.</jats:p> </jats:sec>jats:sec jats:titleResults</jats:title> jats:pBoth self-discrepancies were positively associated with depression, anxiety, and negatively with well-being, self-efficacy, tolerating and adjusting. No differential effects of the two types of discrepancy emerged. The adjusting affective style and self-efficacy partly accounted for the relationships between self-discrepancies and the outcomes.</jats:p> </jats:sec>jats:sec jats:titleConclusion</jats:title> jats:pKnowledge about affective adjustment and self-efficacy in counteracting putative negative emotional effects of self-discrepancies may inform intervention efforts.</jats:p> </jats:sec>



Self-discrepancy theory, Affective style, Self-efficacy, Depression, Anxiety, Well-being

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Cognitive Therapy and Research

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC