The effects of rumination and negative cognitive styles on depression: a mediation analysis

Behav Res Ther. 2008 Apr;46(4):487-95. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2008.01.013. Epub 2008 Jan 30.


Research on cognitive models of depression has identified negative cognitive styles and rumination as risk factors for depression. The present study examined the hypothesis that rumination mediates the effect of negative cognitive styles on depression. Specifically, we evaluated the differential effects of two aspects of rumination, characterized by brooding and reflection, on the relationship between negative cognitive styles and level of depressive symptoms. A total of 115 college students and 38 patients suffering from depressive disorders completed a battery of questionnaires measuring levels of depressive symptoms, brooding, reflection, and negative cognitive styles. The results support the notion that there exist two distinct dimensions of rumination and that, of the two, it is brooding and not reflection that mediates the relationship between negative cognitive styles and depression and contributes to its negative outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Negativism*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Risk Factors
  • Thinking*