Stanislava POPOV* 1, Mikloš BIRO², Jelena RADANOVIĆ2
¹Medical High School, Zrenjanin, Serbia
²Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, Novi Sad, Serbia
In this study we experimentally tested the relationship between unconditional self-acceptance (USA) and self-esteem, both explicit (ESE) and implicit (ISE). Our first aim was to investigate whether the interaction between ISE and ESE measures can predict an USA. Another aim was to investigate whether USA was a better protective factor than ESE in an ego-threatening situation (“trigger” of possible upset to the self- image). In order to simulate ego-threatening situation the real aim of the study was masked to participants. The total sample consisted of 188 university students whose task was to carry out an oral presentation in front of their colleagues and a false “jury”. Relevant variables were measured before and after public speaking, namely after false feedback given by the “jury”. The results showed that USA plays a significant role in the mental health, that is, it predicts some mental health indicators, as well as moderates the relationship between activating event and the measures of mental health. However, we have not confirmed that USA can be predicted by ISE and ESE interaction. Furthermore, USA and ESE made a similar, though not quite identical, impact on the mental health indicators: anxiety, depression, and positive and negative affect.
Keywords: unconditional self-acceptance, explicit self-esteem, implicit self-esteem, mental health