Is Timing Everything? Sequential Effects of Rumination and Distraction on Interpersonal Problem Solving

Yoon, K.; Joormann, Jutta
June 2012
Cognitive Therapy & Research;Jun2012, Vol. 36 Issue 3, p165
Academic Journal
Rumination has been closely linked to risk for depression, whereas distraction has been hypothesized to decrease sad mood and to promote effective problem solving. This study investigates the hypothesis that it is not the use of specific strategies but rather their timing that is critical. Following a negative mood induction, participants were assigned to either immediately ruminate or distract followed by a second set of instructions to either ruminate or distract. Participants who initially engaged in distraction, compared to rumination, generated more effective solutions to interpersonal problems even when they subsequently engaged in rumination immediately prior to the problem solving task. In contrast, participants who engaged in distraction prior to the problem solving task generated less effective solutions when distraction followed a period of rumination. Importantly this effect was not due to differences in current mood state. The results suggest that the timing of the use of emotion regulation strategies is critical.


Related Articles

  • The Indirect Relationship Between Rumination, Shame And Depression: A Mediation Analysis for Those Experiencing Relationship Difficulties. Rice, Simon; Fallon, Barry // Journal of Relationships Research;10/1/2011, Vol. 2 Issue 1, p43 

    Difficulties in intimate partner relationships are known to have detrimental effects on mental health. The association between relationship difficulties and depression is particularly strong for individuals with a tendency for rumination. While the link between rumination and depression has long...

  • Getting Out of Rumination: Comparison of Three Brief Interventions in a Sample of Youth. Hilt, Lori; Pollak, Seth // Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology;Oct2012, Vol. 40 Issue 7, p1157 

    Rumination, passively and repetitively dwelling on and questioning negative feelings in response to distress, is a risk factor for the development of psychopathology, especially depression. The ruminative process is difficult to stop once it has begun. The present studies focused on strategies...

  • Gender Differences in the Relationship between Emotional Regulation and Depressive Symptoms. Rossy, Lynn A.; Ruiz-Padial, Elisabeth; Johnsen, Bjorn Helge; Thayer, Julian F. // Cognitive Therapy & Research;Jun2003, Vol. 27 Issue 3, p349 

    Reports of gender differences in depressive symptoms are one of the most pervasive findings in the literature. In addition, women are frequently reported to be more emotionally sensitive than men. However, the paradox of women being more emotionally responsive and yet at greater risk for...

  • Influence of Rumination and Distraction on the Therapeutic Process in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Depression. Teismann, Tobias; Michalak, Johannes; Willutzki, Ulrike; Schulte, Dietmar // Cognitive Therapy & Research;Feb2012, Vol. 36 Issue 1, p15 

    The response styles theory by Nolen-Hoeksema (J Abnorm Psychol 100:569-582, ) suggests that rumination in response to depressed mood exacerbates and prolongs depression, while distraction ameliorates it. In addition, research has shown that rumination is associated with several undesirable...

  • Reappraisal and Rumination During Recall of a Sad Memory. Grisham, Jessica; Flower, Karyn; Williams, Alishia; Moulds, Michelle // Cognitive Therapy & Research;Jun2011, Vol. 35 Issue 3, p276 

    Previous research has demonstrated that when dysphoric individuals engage in rumination, compared to distraction, negative affect is maintained. A limitation of this research is that rumination and distraction differ in whether the individual focuses on negative material or something unrelated....

  • The functional design of depression's influence on attention: A preliminary test of alternative control-process mechanisms. Andrews, Paul W.; Aggen, Steven H.; Miller, Geoffrey F.; Radi, Christopher; Dencoff, John E.; Neale, Michael C. // Evolutionary Psychology;2007, Vol. 5 Issue 3, p584 

    Substantial evidence indicates that depression focuses attention on the problems that caused the episode, so much that it interferes with the ability to focus on other things. We hypothesized that depression evolved as a response to important, complex problems that could only be solved, if they...

  • Assessing Relations between PTSD’s Dysphoria and Reexperiencing Factors and Dimensions of Rumination. Claycomb, Meredith A.; Wang, Li; Sharp, Carla; Ractliffe, Kendra C.; Elhai, Jon D. // PLoS ONE;Mar2015, Vol. 10 Issue 3, p1 

    The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relations between posttraumatic stress disorder’s (PTSD) dysphoria and reexperiencing factors and underlying dimensions of rumination. 304 trauma-exposed primary care patients were administered the Stressful Life Events Screening...

  • A guide to...couple therapy for depression. Hewison, David // Healthcare Counselling & Psychotherapy Journal;Apr2011, Vol. 11 Issue 2, p32 

    The article discusses couple therapy for depression, which according to the author, is a therapy derived from Great Britain's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines on evidence-based treatment for mild to moderate depression. Topics include an overview of the...

  • Rumination and Impaired Cortisol Recovery Following a Social Stressor in Adolescent Depression. Stewart, Jeremy; Mazurka, Raegan; Bond, Lea; Wynne-Edwards, Katherine; Harkness, Kate // Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology;Oct2013, Vol. 41 Issue 7, p1015 

    Response styles theory promotes rumination as a central cognitive construct driving negative mood and depression, and past research suggests that at least part of the mechanism driving rumination's depressogenic effect is through inhibiting the individual's ability to shift attentional focus...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics