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The authors divided 34 participants who had a history of depression into 2 groups, those having previous suicidal ideation or behavior (n=19) and those having no such symptoms (n=15), then compared the 2 groups with a group of participants who had no history of depression (n=22). Assessment of interpersonal problem-solving performance using the Means-Ends Problem-Solving (MEPS) task before and after a mood-induction procedure showed that only those formerly depressed people with a history of suicidal ideation shifted in MEPS performance, producing significantly less effective problem solutions following mood challenge, consistent with a differential activation account of vulnerability for recurrence of suicidal ideation and behavior. The deterioration in effectiveness following mood challenge was moderated by lack of specificity in autobiographical memory.

Original publication




Journal article


J Abnorm Psychol

Publication Date





421 - 431


Adult, Affect, Attention, Depressive Disorder, Major, Female, Generalization (Psychology), Humans, Life Change Events, Male, Mental Recall, Middle Aged, Personality Inventory, Problem Solving, Recurrence, Suicide