Relationships between self-discrepancies, emotions and depression in males and females
Master of Arts
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Self-discrepancy theory postulates that individuals who experience selfdiscrepancies feel uncomfortable, or disturbed, and may manifest emotional problems such as depression, dejection or agitation. This study examined selfdiscrepancies in relation to self-reported dejection, agitation, dependent depression and self-critical depression. The study also examined sex differences in the relationships between self-discrepancies and these different emotional states. Undergraduate students (96 males and 119 females) completed the Selves Questionnaire to measure self-discrepancies, the Emotions Questionnaire to measure dejection and agitation affects, and the Depressive Experiences Questionnaire to measure the dependent and self-critical forms of depression. Four different self-discrepancies were computed from the Selves Questionnaire; actual/ideal/own(AIOW), actual/ought/own(AOOW), actual/ideal/other(AIOT), and actual/ought/other (AOOT). The results using partial correlations controlling for the remaining self-discrepancies and the other dependent variable (either dejection or agitation and dependency or self-criticism) showed that only AOOT discrepancies predicted agitation in women, and none of selfdiscrepancies predicted dejection or agitation in men. The dependent and selfcritical types of depression correlated with some types of self-discrepancies differently in men and women. These differences suggest that the determinants of these negative affects may, to a limited degree, be different in men and women.