Evaluation of implicit self-referential thoughts of people with depression and their association with cognitive fusion, self-esteem and psychological distress

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Berger, Sarah Jayne (2018). Evaluation of implicit self-referential thoughts of people with depression and their association with cognitive fusion, self-esteem and psychological distress. University of Birmingham. Clin.Psy.D.

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Abstract

Background: Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) provides interventions on increasing psychological flexibility. Within ACT, a process known as fusion, suggests that individuals attach to the
content of their thoughts. Limited research has assessed this process.

Aim: To assess whether people who fuse with their thoughts are more likely to experience psychological distress displayed through symptoms of depression, psychological inflexibility, and have difficulties with self-esteem. A secondary aim is to assess whether the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (I RAP) can help to account for more variance of severity of depression than self-report measures alone.

Method: Thirty-seven participants who were accessing mental health services for symptoms of depression, completed the study. Five self-report measures and one I RAP task that was designed to assess implicit repertoires of responding to co-ordination and containment statements were completed.

Results: Lower levels of self-esteem and psychological flexibility and greater fusion were associated with experiencing a higher level of depression as measured by the DASS-21. However, the I RAP was unable to account for more of the variance of depression than self-report measures alone.

Conclusion: By addressing the limitations highlighted, the IRAP may be enhanced to become a tool that can increase understanding about the functional processes underlying fusion.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Clin.Psy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Clin.Psy.D.
Supervisor(s):
Supervisor(s)EmailORCID
Bennett, RichardUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Riley, Gerry AUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Licence:
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/8507

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