Depressed and excluded: Do depressive symptoms moderate recovery from ostracism?

Büttner, Christiane M. and Rudert, Selma C. and Greifeneder, Rainer. (2021) Depressed and excluded: Do depressive symptoms moderate recovery from ostracism? Journal of Affective Disorders, 294. pp. 730-736.

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Background. Prior studies show that depressed individuals react with more immediate reflexive need threat to ostracism than healthy controls. However, it remains unclear whether the observed difference between depressed individuals and healthy controls is caused by ostracism. To find out, the exclusion condition needs to be compared to a baseline condition: inclusion. Methods. We assessed depressive symptoms in N = 426 participants in an experimental study. Participants were included or excluded in Cyberball and indicated both their immediate reflexive need satisfaction level and their reflective need satisfaction level several minutes later to assess recovery. Results. Being excluded decreased reflexive need satisfaction levels for all participants. At the same time, the strength of depressive symptoms negatively predicted reflexive and reflective need satisfaction and was associated with slower recovery. Importantly, no moderation was observed: individuals with more depressive symptoms reported reduced need satisfaction levels regardless of being included or excluded in Cyberball. Limitations. The present findings were obtained with one paradigm only, albeit the most commonly used one: Cyberball. Depressive symptoms were assessed as self-report; future studies may wish to replicate the effects using structured clinical interviews. Conclusions. Depressive symptoms come with lowered need satisfaction levels, irrespective of whether individuals are socially excluded or included. Clinical practitioners should be aware of the relationship between chronic need threat and depression in order to help their patients overcome it.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Society & Choice > Sozialpsychologie (Greifeneder)
UniBasel Contributors:Büttner, Christiane M and Greifeneder, Rainer
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:27 Jul 2023 14:32
Deposited On:19 Aug 2021 15:17

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