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The association of self-discrepancy with depression and anxiety: Moderator roles of emotion regulation and resilience

2020-03-23
Gürcan Yıldırım, Derya
Gençöz, Tülin
Self-discrepancy theory posits that people experience emotional vulnerabilities to specific emotions when they have discrepancies between their actual, ideal and ought selves. The purpose of the current study was to test the effect of self-discrepancies (discrepancies between actual self and ideal, ought, and undesired selves) on depression and anxiety in a Turkish population, and to examine the moderator roles of emotion regulation and resilience in the relationship between self-discrepancies and negative emotions. Data were obtained from 729 participants. Results showed that ideal self-discrepancy is related to depression, but not anxiety. However, contrary to self-discrepancy theory (SDT), it was found that ought self-discrepancy is related to depression, but not anxiety. Additionally, undesired self-discrepancy is related to both depression and anxiety. According to moderation analyses resilience - but not emotion regulation - moderates both the relationships between ideal self-discrepancy and depression and undesired self-discrepancy and depression. Finally, both resilience and emotion regulation moderate the relationship between ought self-discrepancy and anxiety. This study presents an examination of SDT in a Turkish population, which is a relatively understudied non-Western culture. Furthermore, it presents the influence of emotion regulation and resilience on self-discrepancies, which enhances the understanding of SDT.