Depression as a moderator of the association between emotion regulation and working memory.
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Objective: The purpose of the present study was to examine a proposed model wherein depressive symptomatology has a moderating role on the relationship between emotion regulation and working memory (WM). Also the effect of instructed emotion suppression was thought to be negatively correlated with WM capacity (WMC). Methods: The sample consisted of 82 healthy female participants, mainly students. There were two conditions, one emotion suppression instruction, the other with no instruction. Emotion was elicited through a video fragment, the depressive symptomatology was measured using the BDI-SF, and Automated Symmetry Span Task was used to measure WMC. Results: There was no direct relationship between emotion regulation and WM. However, there was a marginal interaction effect with a small to medium effect size for the moderation hypothesis. Conclusion: The results indicate that the presence of depressive symptoms reinforce the effect of instructed emotion regulation on WMC. The presented theory suggests that this has to do with difficulties in both regulating emotions and regulating the content of the WM. This interaction loads the WM and depletes its capacity. The fact the effect is marginal suggests interpretations must be made prudently.