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Title: Self-referent upward counterfactuals and depression: Examining regret as a mediator
Contributor(s): Broomhall, Anne Gene (author); Phillips, Wendy J  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2018
Early Online Version: 2018-01-17
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1080/23311908.2017.1416884Open Access Link
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Abstract: Previous research has found that self-referent upward counterfactuals are associated with depression. However, empirical evidence regarding the way self-referent upward counterfactuals exert their influence on depression remains scarce. This study examined whether regret intensity mediates the relationship between self-referent upward counterfactuals and depression. This possibility is in line with a sequential negative cognitions-to-affect theoretical framework, given that self-referent upward counterfactuals that blame the self for not bringing about desired outcomes may elicit feelings of regret. Adding to the limited number of studies involving Asian samples about counterfactual-related depression, the study was conducted on 147 university-educated residents of the Philippines (Mage = 28.28, SD = 9.23; Range = 18–62) who completed an online survey. Mediation analysis using multiple regression found that regret intensity fully mediated the relationship between self-referent upward counterfactuals and depression, after controlling for the effects of three variables related to regret regulation (self-deceptive enhancement, other-referent upward and nonreferent downward counterfactual thinking). Specifically, greater tendencies to generate self-referent upward counterfactuals were associated with greater regret intensity which, in turn, was associated with higher levels of depression symptoms. This finding suggests that depressed individuals who report more frequent self-referent upward counterfactuals may benefit from treatment strategies that lower regret intensity.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Cogent Psychology, 5(1), p. 1-21
Publisher: Cogent OA
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 2331-1908
Field of Research (FOR): 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 920410 Mental Health
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Psychology

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