- Implicit and explicit self-esteem as concurrent predictors of suicidal ideation, depressive symptoms, and loneliness
- Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
- Volume | Issue number
- 43 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
The aim of the present study was to examine whether explicit and implicit self-esteem, the interaction between these two constructs, and their discrepancy are associated with depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, and loneliness. Participants were 95 young female adults (M = 21.2 years, SD = 1.88) enrolled in higher education. We administered the Name Letter Task to measure implicit self-esteem, and the Rosenberg self-esteem scale to assess explicit self-esteem. The results indicated that explicit but not implicit self-esteem was negatively associated with depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, and loneliness. The interaction of implicit and explicit self-esteem was associated with suicidal ideation, indicating that participants with high implicit self-esteem combined with a low explicit self-esteem showed more suicidal ideation. Furthermore, the size of the discrepancy between implicit and explicit self-esteem was positively associated with depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, and loneliness. In addition, results showed that the direction of the discrepancy is an important: damaged self-esteem (high implicit self-esteem combined with low explicit self-esteem) was consistently associated with increased levels of depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, and loneliness, while defensive or fragile self-esteem (high explicit and low implicit self-esteem) was not. Together, these findings provide new insights into the relationship of implicit and explicit self-esteem with depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, and loneliness.
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