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OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between reflection, brooding, and suicidality in participants with a history of major depression. METHOD: Participants were divided into three groups - those who had never been suicidal (N=11), suicide ideators (N=11), and suicide attempters (N=10). Participants completed the Ruminative Responses Scale to explore scores on the brooding and reflection subscales in each group. RESULTS: There was a significant interaction between groups and type of self-focused thinking: suicide attempters more strongly endorsed brooding than reflection, whilst non-suicidal, but previously depressed individuals showed the reverse trend. Suicidal and non-suicidal groups differed significantly in levels of reflection, but did not differ significantly in levels of brooding. CONCLUSIONS: Deficits in reflection appear to be linked to suicidality in major depression consistent with evidence of problem-solving deficits in these groups.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Clin Psychol

Publication Date





497 - 504


Adolescent, Adult, Depressive Disorder, Major, England, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Problem Solving, Suicide, Suicide, Attempted, Thinking