Depressive Rumination and Social Problem Solving in Japanese University Students

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The relationship between depressive rumination and dimensions of social problem solving were investigated in a Japanese, nonclinical population. University students (N = 227) completed the Beck Depression Inventory—Second Edition, Ruminative Responses Scale, Means-Ends Problem-Solving (MEPS) test, and Social Problem-Solving Inventory—Revised Short Version (SPSI-R:S). Results indicated that after controlling for depression, trait rumination, especially its brooding subcomponent, was positively correlated with negative problem orientation and avoidance style. Unexpectedly, trait rumination was weakly but positively associated with an effective problem-solving style, as assessed by the SPSI-R:S and MEPS. These findings suggest that one pathway through which rumination leads to depression in nonclinical populations could be through increasing negative problem orientation and avoidance problem-solving style. Results also suggested that reflection, compared to brooding, was positively associated with positive problem orientation and more strongly associated with rationale problem-solving style. These findings suggest that reflection leads to active problem solving.

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