How context, mood, and emotional memory interact in depression: A study in everyday life
Number of pages
27 mei 2021
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI KLP
SW OZ BSI BO
SubjectExperimental Psychopathology and Treatment
Cognitive theories of depression hold that negative contextual triggers (e.g., stressful events) induce more negative and less positive mood, in turn instigating negatively biased memories. However, context-related variability in mood and emotional memory has received insufficient attention, while the dynamic interaction between these factors plays a crucial role in the kindling of new depressive episodes. Experience Sampling Method (ESM) for repeated, daily life measures of context, mood, and autobiographic emotional memory was used in 46 currently depressed, 90 remitted-depressed, and 55 never-depressed individuals. Currently depressed individuals showed strongest negative processing style and never-depressed most positive, with remitted-depressed patients scoring intermediate. The moderated mediation model indicated that context appraisal had a direct effect on the appraisal of the recalled event (i.e., our operationalization of emotional memory), which was mediated by positive (but hardly by negative) mood and was independent of depression status. This mediation strength was relatively similar to the strength of the direct effect of context on memory. Results are in line with cognitive theories of depression. Especially context seems important for emotional memory. The association between context, mood, and memory, however, may be independent of depression status. Yet, the "level" of mood, context, and event appraisal does depend on depression status.
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