The Relationship between Rumination, Positive Future Goals and Cognitive Aspects of Future Goals as Predictors of Depression
Roekel, L. van
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This study investigated the role of rumination and positive future goals in predicting symptoms of depression in a clinical sample. First, associations of two aspects of rumination, i.e. brooding and reflection, with depression were tested. Secondly, a mediational model was tested that proposed that the relationship between rumination and depression is mediated by number of positive future goals formulated, perceived control over goal achievement and perceived likelihood of goal achievement. A sample of N = 200 patients with depression was recruited from an outpatient mental healthcare clinic. The results showed that brooding, but not reflection, predicted depressive symptoms. Not all aspects of positive future goals were found to be predictors of depression; only perceived control over goal achievement was a mediator of the relationship between brooding and depression. Patients who engaged in brooding tended to perceive future goals as less controllable and experienced more symptoms of depression. Strategies to increase the subjective experience of control over achievement of future goals are a potential target for psychological treatment of depression. Limitations of the current study, suggestions for future research and implications of these findings for clinical practice were discussed.