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Twenty depressed patients with major depressive disorder, 20 nondepressed matched control subjects, and 17 patients with anxiety disorders were compared in different measures of social problem solving. Problem solving was assessed with the Means-Ends Problem-Solving Test (Study 1), the solution of personal problems, and a problem-solving questionnaire (Study 2). Results showed that, as predicted, depressed subjects suffered from a deficit in problem solving in all three measures. The majority of these deficits were also displayed by the clinical control group rather than being specific to a diagnosis of depression. However, depressed subjects produced less effective solutions than did normal and clinical control subjects. The results suggest that depressed and anxious patients may have difficulties at different stages of the problem-solving process.


Journal article


J Abnorm Psychol

Publication Date





78 - 86


Adult, Depressive Disorder, Female, Humans, Interpersonal Relations, Male, Middle Aged, Personality Assessment, Problem Solving, Social Adjustment, Social Environment