The relationship between self-talk style and emotional difficulties in students

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Student in Ph.D. of clinical psychology, Shahed University of Tehran

2 Student in Ph.D. of clinical psychology, Iranian Psychiatric Institute, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran

3 Assistant professor of psychology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences


Introduction: Self-talk style, which is the core set of cognitive- behavioral regulation that plays a crucial role in creating and continuing of emotional disturbances. By recognition of self talk style and its components, one can access to self control which has noticeable effect on self efficacy. This study was aimed to investigate the relationship between self talk and emotional difficulties in Payam-e-Noor University of Mashhad students.
Materials and Methods: In this descriptive-correlation study, 375 students of Payam-e-Noor University of Mashhad were selected using voluntarysampling in 2010. Self Talk Inventory (ST) and Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) were employed for assessment of self talk and emotional difficulties. Data were analyzed applying Pearson's correlation coefficient and multiple regression analysis.
Results: The results of Pearson’s correlation coefficient indicated that negative self talk is significantly associated with depression and anxiety (P≤0.001) but not with stress. On the other hand, there was strong negative relationship between positive self talk and stress (P≤0.05). Moreover, the results of regression analysis also showed that negative self talk can better predict depression and anxiety )P≤0.001), while positive self talk can predict stress (P≤0.05).
Conclusion: Self talk style can predict students’ emotional difficulties. By increasing cognitive awareness and sensitivity through special training aimed to alter self talk style, we can promote students’ mental health and function.


1. Sadeghian F, Farhadi nasab A, Falahinia G. [Mental health investigation among students of Hamadan University of Medical Sciences in 2006]. Developing and extending of medicine education 2009; 1(1): 44-51. (Persian)
2. Kaveh MH. [The roll of teachers in mental health of elementary school students: The results of an intervention study]. Payesh 2003; 2(2): 95-103. (Persian)
3. Asadi H, Vadoodi V. [The prevalence of socio-individual problems and psychiatric disorders in university students]. Proceeding of the 5th National Congress of Students Mental Health 1389; 9-11. (Persian). 
4. Parvizifard. [The prevalence of psychiatric disorders in fresh men of Kermanshah Medical Sciences University in 2001-2002]. Proceeding of the 3rd National Congress of Students Mental Health, 2006; 184. (Persian)
5. Asadi H, Vadoodi V, Yeganeh SH. [The investigation of mental health status among students of Shahid Beheshti University (entrance year: 2007-2008)]. Proceeding of the 4th National Congress of Students Mental Health, 2008, 171-4. (Persian)
6. Asadi H, Hosseini S, Yeganeh SH. [The fresh men's mental health status and prevalence of psychiatric disorders]. Proceeding of the 5th National Congress of Students Mental Health, 2010, 8-9. (Persian)
7. Calvete E, Cardenoso O. Self-talk in adolescents: Dimensions, states of mind, and psychological maladjustment. Cogn Ther Res 2002; 26(4): 473-85.
8. Mosayebi H, Esmaeeli M, Falsafinezhad MR. [The effectiveness of cognitive therapy based on self talk technique on diminution of social phobia and correction of self and others interpretation]. Education and psychology studies 2010; 11(2): 87-102. (Persian)
9. Safren SA, Heimberg RG, Lerner AH, Warman M, Kendall PC. Differentiating anxious and depressive self-statements: Combined factor structure of the anxious self- statements questionnaire and the automatic thoughts questionnaire revised. Cogn Ther Res 2000; 24(3): 327-44.
10. Jolly JB, Kramer TA. The hierarchical arrangement of internalizing cognitions. Cogn Ther Res 1994; 18: 1-14.
11. Clark DM, McManus F. Information processing in social phobia. Biol Psychiatry 2002; 51: 92-100.
12. Calvete  E, Estevez A, Landin C, Mortinez Y, Cardenoso O, Villardan L, et al. Self-talk and affective problems in college students:  Valence of thinking and cognitive content specificity. Span J Psychol 2005; 8(1): 56-67.
13. Lovibond SM, Lovibond PFM. Manual for the depression, anxiety and stress scale. 2nd ed. Australia, Sydney: Psychology formulation; 1995: 1-211.
14. Sahebi  A, Mir Abdollahi E, Salari R. [Normalizing of  depression, anxiety and stress scale on students of  Ferdowsi University of Mashhad]. Research report 2001: 1-132.  (Persian)
15. Mehrabi A, Fata L, Davazdah Emami MH, Rajab A. [The effectiveness of stress management instruction based on cognitive behavioral theory on blood sugar control and emotional difficulties diminution in type 1 diabetes patients]. Iranian diabetes and lipid journal 2008; 8(2): 103-14. (Persian)  
16. Dodge CS, Hope DA, Heimberg RG, Becker RE. Evaluation of the social interaction self-statement test with a social phobic population. Cogn Ther Res 1998; 12: 211-22.
17. Hardy J, Gammage K, Hall CR. A description of athlete self-talk. The sport psychologist 2001; 15: 306-18.
18. Hardy J, Hall CR, Gibbs C, Greenslade C. Self-talk and gross motor skill performance: An experimental approach. Athletic insight 2005; 7(2): 1-13.
19. Kendall PC, Chansky TE. Considering cognition in anxiety-disordered children. J Anxiety Disord 1991; 5: 167-85.
20. Calvete E, Connor-Smith JK. Automatic thoughts and psychological symptoms: A cross-cultural comparison of American and Spanish students. Cogn Ther Res 2005; 29(2): 201-17.
21. Amsel R, Fichten CS. Recommendations for Self-Statement Inventories: Use of valence, endpoints, frequency, and relative frequency. Cogn Ther Res 1998; 22(3): 225-77.
22. Schwartz RM. Consider the simple screw: Cognitive science, quality improvement and psychotherapy. J Consult Clin Psychol 1997; 65: 970-83.