2019 Volume 7 Pages 45-60
The influence of depression and self-esteem on hesitation for disclosure of specific events and reasons for narrating events were investigated to clarify the social function of autobiographical memory in depression. University students (N=196) completed questionnaires assessing their hesitation for disclosure of negative and positive events, briefly described a specific event they wanted to narrate, rated its degrees of pleasantness and importance, as well as responded to items inquiring the reasons for narrating the specific event. They also completed the Self-Esteem Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis for disclosure of negative events indicated that depression and self-esteem influenced different aspects of hesitation. The hesitation for the disclosure of a positive event suggested that when the level of depression was high, the hesitation for disclosure was also high. Moreover, self-esteem did not influence the hesitation for disclosure of a positive event. Furthermore, participants more often wanted to narrate positive and important episodes. Additionally, participants that wanted to narrate a negative event were more depressed, whereas participants that wanted to describe a negative and unimportant episode had low self-esteem. The analyses of the reason for narrating an event indicated that participants with high self-esteem narrated events to elicit the empathy of others, to enhance intimacy, to present themselves positively, and to entertain others. These findings are discussed in terms of social functions of autobiographical memory, and psychological support for social rehabilitation of depressed people.