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BACKGROUND: Depressed individuals display a deficit in effectively solving social problem situations (e.g., []). Recent research suggests that rumination may interfere with such effective problem-solving (e.g., []). However, little is known, as yet, about the mechanisms that are underlying this relation between rumination and poor problem-solving. The present study investigated the role of reduced specificity of autobiographical memories as a mediator of this relationship. METHODS: 24 depressed patients (15 women) completed the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT), the Means-Ends Problem-Solving Task (MEPS), the Ruminative Response Scale (RRS) and the Rumination on Sadness Scale (RSS). RESULTS: Consistent with previous studies, rumination, ineffective problem-solving and reduced memory specificity were significantly associated. Regression analyses further extended these findings by showing that reduced memory specificity mediated the association between rumination and problem-solving effectiveness. LIMITATIONS: The correlational nature of this study limits to some extent the conclusions that can be drawn on the directionality of the observed relationships. CONCLUSIONS: Results offer support for the idea that lack of autobiographical memory specificity mediates the known relationship between rumination and poor problem-solving.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.jad.2005.05.004

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Affect Disord

Publication Date

08/2005

Volume

87

Pages

331 - 335

Keywords

Autobiography as Topic, Depressive Disorder, Major, Female, Humans, Male, Memory Disorders, Problem Solving, Psychological Tests, Social Behavior