Patrick Pössel, of the Eberhard-Karls-University, studied students to determine if a combination of two popular theories on depression, namely Beck’s Cognitive Theory and Response Style Theory, would provide better accuracy if elements of both were integrated. Pössel looked specifically at brooding and reflection, or rumination, as a factor for his study. The 397 students were enrolled from a German university and ranged in age from 18 to 52 years old. At the onset of the study, 22.6% of the participants cited significant depressive symptoms in a self-report. The students were measured at three different stages, once at the beginning of the study, and two more times over the course of the four week examination.
Pössel sought to identify the relationship between schemata and rumination. “As depression-related rumination is a symptom of depression, this leads to an overestimation of the association between rumination and depressive symptoms,” said Pössel. “Therefore, the missing association found of brooding and reflection (and their interactions with schemata) with depressive symptoms might be more valid than in some of the previous studies.” Pössel integrated the two theories by allowing schemata to influence the brooding and reflection response, and noted that the integrated method resulted in more accurate data than other models of integration. “However,” said Pössel, “an inspection of the associations in this model reveals that although schemata are associated with brooding and reflection 4 weeks later, neither of the response styles is associated with any other cognitive variable or with depressive symptoms.” Pössel believes this research will dispel any conjecture doubting the validity of Beck’s theory. “In addition,” he added, “compared with the more parsimonious cognitive model of Beck, this integrated model does not fit better, and it does not explain more variance of depressive symptoms.” But Pössel noted, “Compared with the original response style theory, however, the integrated model fits the data better, and it explains 9.7% more variance of depressive symptoms.”
Pössel, P. (2011, August 15). Can Beck’s Theory of Depression and the Response Style Theory Be Integrated?. Journal of Counseling Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0025092
© Copyright 2011 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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