alexa Predicting physical health: implicit mental health measures versus self-report scales.


Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy

Author(s): Cousineau TM, Shedler J

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Abstract Researchers have traditionally relied on self-report questionnaires to assess psychological well-being, but such measures may be unable to differentiate individuals who are genuinely psychologically healthy from those who maintain a facade or illusion of mental health based on denial and self-deception. Prior research suggests that clinically derived assessment procedures that assess implicit psychological processes may have advantages over self-report mental health measures. This prospective study compared the Early Memory Index, an implicit measure of mental health/distress, with a range of familiar self-report scales as predictors of physical health. The Early Memory Index showed significant prospective associations with health service utilization and clinically verified illness. In contrast, self-report measures of mental health, perceived stress, life events stress, and mood states did not predict health outcomes. The findings highlight the limitations of self-report questionnaires and suggest that implicit measures have an important role to play in mental health research. This article was published in J Nerv Ment Dis and referenced in Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy

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