Savoring the moment: A link between affectivity and depression

Ian J. Kahrilas, Jennifer L. Smith, Rebecca L. Silton, Fred B. Bryant

Abstract


Objective: Positive affectivity (PA; disposition to experience positive moods) and negative affectivity (NA; disposition to experience negative moods) may be risk factors for depression. Low PA may impair positive emotion regulation (savoring), potentially exacerbating depression. Understanding the mechanisms in which temporal domains of savoring influence the relationship between affectivity and depression may help advance depression treatments.

Method: 1,618 participants (1,243 females; 70.0% Caucasian, 19.1% Asian, 4.5% African American, 0.9% Pacific Islander, 0.7% American Indian or Alaskan Native, 4.9% Biracial) ages 17 - 40 (M = 18.99, SD = 1.33) completed questionnaires. An exploratory path analysis was run with PA and NA as exogenous variables, savoring domains as mediators, and depression the outcome.

Results: PA and NA were associated with depression and all three savoring temporal domains. Momentary savoring distinctly mediated the relationship between both PA and NA and depression.

Limitations: The data are self-report and cross-sectional, precluding causal inference. Post-hoc power analysis indicated that the present study was underpowered. The use of a college sample primarily comprised of Caucasian women limits generalizability.

Conclusions: Affectivity was associated with the temporal domains of savoring and indirectly associated with depression via momentary savoring. All temporal domains of savoring may bolster PA and mitigate NA. Momentary savoring may reduce depression symptoms in individuals with low PA and high NA.


Keywords


Positive Affectivity, Negative Affectivity, Savoring, Positive Emotion Regulation, Depression

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5502/ijw.v10i2.779

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