Perceived Social Problem Solving, Perfectionism, and Mindful Awareness in Clinical Depression: An Exploratory Study

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Perfectionism, problem solving, and mindfulness have all been variously implicated in the experience and treatment outcomes for depression. Maladaptive perfectionism represents a cognitive set that is believed to exacerbate the symptoms of depression, whereas social problem solving is believed to play a role in potentially buffering the effects of perfectionism on depressive symptomatology. Little is currently known about the role of mindfulness during a current depressive episode, however a number of studies have shown that mindfulness-based interventions significantly reduce relapse rates in depression. The current study examined the role of social problem solving, adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism, and mindful awareness during a current depressive episode. Participants were 141 inpatients experiencing a clinical depressive episode. No support was found for social problem solving buffering the effects of maladaptive perfectionism on depression severity. Results suggest that mindful awareness mediates the negative association between social problem solving and depression severity and the positive association between maladaptive perfectionism and depression severity. Mindful awareness contributed the greatest amount of variance to depression symptom severity.

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