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J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 2016 Mar;50:201-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jbtep.2015.08.002. Epub 2015 Aug 18.

Testing a "content meets process" model of depression vulnerability and rumination: Exploring the moderating role of set-shifting deficits.

Author information

1
University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Park Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA.
2
University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Park Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA. Electronic address: robertsj@buffalo.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

MacCoon and Newman's (2006) "content meets process" model posits that deficits in cognitive control make it difficult to disengage from negative cognitions caused by a negative cognitive style (NCS). The present study examined if the interactive effect of cognitive set-shifting abilities and NCS predicts rumination and past history of depression.

METHODS:

Participants were 90 previously depressed individuals and 95 never depressed individuals. We administered three laboratory tasks that assess set-shifting: the Wisconsin Card-Sorting Task, the Emotional Card-Sorting Task, and the Internal Switch Task, and self-report measures of NCS and rumination.

RESULTS:

Shifting ability in the context of emotional distractors moderated the association between NCS and depressive rumination. Although previously depressed individuals had more NCS and higher trait rumination relative to never depressed individuals, shifting ability did not moderate the association between NCS and depression history.

LIMITATIONS:

The cross-sectional correlational design cannot address the causal direction of effects. It is also not clear whether findings will generalize beyond college students.

CONCLUSIONS:

NCS was elevated in previously depressed individuals consistent with its theoretical role as trait vulnerability to the disorder. Furthermore, NCS may be particularly likely to trigger rumination among individuals with poor capacity for cognitive control in the context of emotional distraction.

KEYWORDS:

Cognitive control; Depression; Negative cognitive content; Negative cognitive style; Rumination; Set-shifting

PMID:
26370393
DOI:
10.1016/j.jbtep.2015.08.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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