Sprachgebrauch, Depression und Selbstaufmerksamkeit: eine Untersuchung über den Zusammenhang zwischen Sprachgebrauch beim Expressiven Schreiben, Depression und dispositioneller Selbstaufmerksamkeit
LicenseStandard (Fassung vom 01.10.2008)
Depressive symptoms in non-clinical populations have been associated with certain patterns of language use particularly reflecting heightened self-focus. The aim of this study was to explore whether these patterns can be detected equally in a population of long term depression patients. Essays of 60 patients suffering from a major depression episode or dysthymia were examined for differences in language use that might show the influence of higher levels of self awareness or thought suppression. A text analysis program (LIWC, linguistic inquiry and word count) computed the incidence of words in predesignated categories. Patients with higher levels of depression used more words associated with anger and fewer words associated with causality than patients with lower levels of depression. We further found that higher levels of self awareness tended to be associated with an increased use of the first person singular ("I"). Additionally, it could be shown that thought suppression was associated with higher levels of depression. In summary, we found that the cognitive mechanisms in the context of depression are related to thought suppression which aggravates a reflective view on oneself. This supports Beck´s cognitive theory of depression. Further, the cognitive processes underlying the development of depression also seem to be reflected in language use during expressive writing.
Subject HeadingsBDI <Test> [GND]
Self-consciousness: Awareness [LCSH]
Thought suppression [MeSH]