Journal article

Perceiving social pressure not to feel negative predicts depressive symptoms in daily life

Egon Dejonckheere, Brock Bastian, Eiko I Fried, Sean C Murphy, Peter Kuppens



BACKGROUND: Western societies often overemphasize the pursuit of happiness, and regard negative feelings such as sadness or anxiety as maladaptive and unwanted. Despite this emphasis on happiness, the amount of people suffering from depressive complaints is remarkably high. To explain this apparent paradox, we examined whether experiencing social pressure not to feel sad or anxious could in fact contribute to depressive symptoms. METHODS: A sample of individuals (n = 112) with elevated depression scores (Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ-9] ≥ 10) took part in an online daily diary study in which they rated their depressive symptoms and perceived social pressure not to feel depressed or anxio..

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Awarded by KU Leuven Research Council

Awarded by Interuniversity Attraction Poles Programme

Awarded by Australian Research Council Discovery

Awarded by European Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

Grant sponsor: KU Leuven Research Council; Contract grant numbers: GOA/15/003 and OT/11/031; Grant sponsor: Interuniversity Attraction Poles Programme; Contract grant number: IAP/P7/06; Grant sponsor: Australian Research Council Discovery; Contract grant number: DP140103757; Grant sponsor: European Research Council; Contract grant number: 647209.