Prognostic value of implicit and explicit self-associations for the course of depressive and anxiety disorders

K.A. Glashouwer, P.J. de Jong, B.W.J.H. Penninx

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dysfunctional self-beliefs are assumed to play an important role in maintaining depression and anxiety. Current dual-process models emphasize the relevance of differentiating between implicit and explicit self-beliefs. Therefore, this study tested the prognostic value of automatic and explicit self-associations for the naturalistic course of depressive and anxiety disorders over two years follow-up. Both self-depressed and self-anxious associations were measured in unipolar depressed patients (n = 313), anxious patients (n = 566), and patients with comorbid depressive and anxiety disorders (n = 577) as part of the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety. Outcomes showed that in single predictor models specifically automatic self-anxious associations were related to a reduced chance of remission from anxiety, whereas automatic self-depressed associations were related to a reduced chance of remission from depression. Explicit self-anxious associations and fearful avoidance behaviour showed independent predictive validity for remission from anxiety, whereas explicit self-depressed associations and having both major depressive disorder and dysthymia showed independent predictive validity for remission from depression. These findings are not only consistent with the view that both implicit and explicit dysfunctional self-associations are related to the course of anxiety and unipolar depressive disorders, but also suggest that both types of self-beliefs are proper targets for therapeutic interventions. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-486
JournalBehaviour research and therapy
Volume50
Issue number7-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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