Recent theory and research (Smith & Greenberg, 1981; Ingram & Smith, 1984) suggest an association between self-focused attention and depression. In an attempt to clarify the nature of this relationship, two studies were undertaken. Study I demonstrated that self-focused attention (i.e., private self-consciousness) was correlated with depression but was unrelated to test anxiety. Thus, self-focused attention was a correlate of depression but not emotional difficulty in general. Further, both depression and private self-consciousness were independently associated with a negative evaluation of the self. Self-focused attention was also found to be correlated with negative mood in individuals experiencing at least some symptoms of depression but not in nondepressed persons. Study II demonstrated that self-focused attention and stressful life events were independently associated with depression. Self-focused attention did not, however, moderate the relationship between stress and depression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology