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When disgust leads to dysphoria: a three-wave longitudinal study assessing the temporal relationship between self-disgust and depressive symptoms

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Cognition and Emotion
Issue number5
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)900-913
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date15/02/13
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Research has shown that feelings of self-disgust may have a functional role in the genesis of depression by partially mediating the cross-sectional relationship between dysfunctional thoughts and depressive symptoms. However, there are many outstanding issues regarding these hypothesised associations. First, it is not yet clear whether self-disgust is a temporal antecedent, concomitant, or consequence of depressive experience. Second, it is not known whether the hypothesised mediation sequence is valid over time. Third, the relative contribution of disgust towards different aspects of the self has not yet been examined. In the present longitudinal study, participants completed measures of dysfunctional cognitions, self-disgust and depressive symptoms at baseline, and at six and 12-month follow-ups. Analysis showed that self-disgust is best considered as antecedent to depressive symptoms; the hypothesised mediation model was partially supported, but is too simplistic; and disgust towards physical aspects of the self, rather than behaviour, was more important as a temporal predictor of depressive symptoms. The current results help elucidate the role of self-disgust as an antecedent of depressive experience.