The effects of self-focused rumination on global negative self-judgements in depression

Katharine A Rimes, Ed Watkins

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166 Citations (SciVal)


Previous research in dysphoric participants has found that compared with distraction, rumination inductions are associated with increased levels of cognitive distortions and overgeneral autobiographical memories. Watkins and Teasdale ((2001) Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 110, 353-357) investigated which component of rumination was responsible for this effect in overgeneral memory, and found two distinct modes of ruminative self-focus, with analytical, evaluative self-focus maintaining overgeneral memory, whereas self-focus low in analytical thinking reduced overgeneral memory. The present study compared the effects of these two distinct forms of self-focused rumination with another measure of overgeneral thinking--global negative self-judgements. Thirty depressed participants and thirty never-depressed participants were randomly allocated to 'analytic' (high analysis) or 'experiential' (low analysis) self-focused manipulations. As predicted, in depressed participants, the analytical self-focus condition increased ratings of the self as worthless and incompetent pre- to post-manipulation, whereas the experiential self-focus condition resulted in no significant change in such judgements. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that an analytical mode of self-focused rumination may be particularly maladaptive in depression
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1673-1681
Number of pages9
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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