Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Depressed individuals display a deficit in effectively solving social problem situations (e.g., []). Recent research suggests that rumination may interfere with such effective problem-solving (e.g., []). However, little is known, as yet, about the mechanisms that are underlying this relation between rumination and poor problem-solving. The present study investigated the role of reduced specificity of autobiographical memories as a mediator of this relationship. METHODS: 24 depressed patients (15 women) completed the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT), the Means-Ends Problem-Solving Task (MEPS), the Ruminative Response Scale (RRS) and the Rumination on Sadness Scale (RSS). RESULTS: Consistent with previous studies, rumination, ineffective problem-solving and reduced memory specificity were significantly associated. Regression analyses further extended these findings by showing that reduced memory specificity mediated the association between rumination and problem-solving effectiveness. LIMITATIONS: The correlational nature of this study limits to some extent the conclusions that can be drawn on the directionality of the observed relationships. CONCLUSIONS: Results offer support for the idea that lack of autobiographical memory specificity mediates the known relationship between rumination and poor problem-solving.

Original publication




Journal article


J Affect Disord

Publication Date





331 - 335


Autobiography as Topic, Depressive Disorder, Major, Female, Humans, Male, Memory Disorders, Problem Solving, Psychological Tests, Social Behavior