Insecure attachment cognitions, emotion recognition biases, and their interaction are important contributors to depression susceptibility. The present study, with a prospective longitudinal design, investigated the role of negative emotion recognition in moderating the linkage from insecure attachment cognitions to elevated depressive symptoms. A sample of 96 depression-prone individuals completed measures for attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance, depression symptom severity, and a computerized facial and prosodic emotion recognition task twice with a four-week interval. Results revealed that the interaction between attachment avoidance and fearful prosodic emotion recognition significantly predicted subsequent depressive symptoms. More specifically, greater attachment avoidance with lower accuracy of fearful prosodic emotions at baseline predicted an increase of depressive symptoms over four-week interval. However, no moderating role of emotion recognition in the linkage from attachment anxiety to depression persistence was noted. The present study demonstrates that attachment avoidance and negative emotion recognition may together contribute to the maintenance of depression. The findings may be pertinent to attachment avoidance-related deactivating strategy that appears to be a specific cultural forbearance way for emotion regulation in collectivistic societies. Potential applications and future research are then suggested.
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