Parental criticism, self-criticism and their relation to depressive mood: an exploratory study among a non-clinical population

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Chiara Manfredi *
Gabriele Caselli
Federica Pescini
Martina Rossi
Daniela Rebecchi
Giovanni Maria Ruggiero
Sandra Sassaroli
(*) Corresponding Author:
Chiara Manfredi | c.manfredi@studicognitivi.net

Abstract

Internalized self-criticism (ISC) has been identified as one dimension of depression and has been related to poor interpersonal functioning, severity of depressive symptoms among patients with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder, and suicidal behaviors. Finally, it has been indicated as a maintaining factor in depression, able to impair the efficacy of psychological treatment. The present study aimed to investigate the role of perceived parental criticism, perfectionistic concern over mistakes and ruminative brooding in predicting internalized self-criticism; in addition, we explored the predictive value of all the considered variables for depressive mood in a nonclinical population. The final model showed a complete mediation for concern over mistakes and ruminative brooding in the relationship between perceived parental criticism and ISC, with the final model explaining 32% of the variance. Moreover, ISC predicted the level of depressive symptoms over and above the contribution of the other variables considered. The findings suggest that a thinking style characterized by ruminative brooding and the tendency to be concerned with mistakes can facilitate the development of a self-critical person, more than a parental style perceived as critical. Moreover, the tendency to be self-critical may be more predictive of depressive symptoms than the other variables considered.

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