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Behav Res Ther. 2010 Aug;48(8):747-53. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2010.04.007. Epub 2010 Apr 27.

Ruminative and mindful self-focused processing modes and their impact on problem solving in dysphoric individuals.

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Department of Clinical Psychology, Hull York Medical School, University of Hull, Hull HU6 7RX, UK.


A mindful experiential rather than an analytical ruminative mode of information processing is beneficial in depression. However studies have not taken into account people's trait mindfulness or trait rumination. This study aimed to examine the effects of state and trait analytical rumination and experiential mindfulness on affect and social problem solving (SPS). Participants filled in the trait mindfulness and trait rumination questionnaires. After mood induction, dysphoric participants with and without a history of depression were assessed for SPS and affect before and after induction of mindful (experiential) or ruminative (analytic) processing modes. Results showed trait mindfulness was negatively correlated with the BDI and trait rumination was positively correlated with the BDI. There was no significant difference between groups after the induced experiential mindful or analytical ruminative processing modes. However, participants who scored high on trait rumination showed significant improvement in SPS after induced mindfulness processing. No such effect was found on trait mindfulness. These findings suggest a useful way to prevent high trait ruminators from developing depressive symptoms or depression. Experiential mindful processing may help reduce the risk of developing depressive symptoms by increasing social problem solving ability in those with low mood and high levels of trait rumination.

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