Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 399–406 | Cite as

Self-esteem and self-disgust both mediate the relationship between dysfunctional cognitions and depressive symptoms

  • J. Simpson
  • R. Hillman
  • T. Crawford
  • P. G. Overton
Original Paper


Previous research indicates that self-disgust partially mediates the relationship between dysfunctional cognitions and depression. However, as self-disgust is only a partial mediator, other variables are also likely to mediate this relationship. One potential variable is self-esteem, which has consistently been linked to depression in the literature. Hence, the current study aimed to examine whether self-disgust and self-esteem both mediate the relationship between dysfunctional cognitions and depression. Measures of self-disgust, self-esteem, dysfunctional cognitions and depression were completed by a non clinical sample of 120 participants. Self-disgust and self-esteem were found to be conceptually distinct constructs and both constructs were found to be partial mediators of the relationship between dysfunctional cognitions and depression: a finding which generalised across two measures of depression. The important mediational role of emotions in the development of depression needs to be taken into account in therapeutic practice.


Dysfunctional cognitions Mediator analysis Depression Self-disgust Self-esteem 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Simpson
    • 1
  • R. Hillman
    • 2
  • T. Crawford
    • 2
  • P. G. Overton
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Health ResearchUniversity of LancasterBailrigg, LancasterUK
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of LancasterBailrigg, LancasterUK
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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