Category: Adult Depression / Dysthymia

PS14- #A11 - Rumination Moderates the Relationship Between Attentional Control and Symptoms of Depression

Saturday, Nov 18
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: Indigo CDGH

Keywords: Depression | Attention | Rumination

There are many cognitive processes that leave one vulnerable to symptoms of depression. Rumination has been shown to be one of the most reliable predictors of depression. Many studies have also found that individuals who are depressed tend to have deficits in various aspects of working memory and attention. More specifically it has been demonstrated that individuals who are depressed tend to have an attentional bias toward negative information, and tend to have difficulties shifting their attention away from negative information. While it is important to identify individual risk factors that contribute to depression, in order to get a true understanding of these vulnerabilities, it is important to study risk factors in concert rather than isolation, and to test how these risk factors might interact with each other. In this study, we recruited 226 undergraduates. Participants completed the Center of Epidemiological Studies Depression scale (CES-D), the Ruminative Response scale (RRS), and then completed the Antisaccade Task as a measure of attentional control (AC). In order to test the relationship between AC, rumination, and their interaction on depression, we performed a regression to predict CES-D scores. The overall model was significant, R2= 0.389, F(4, 221) = 35.21, p < 0.001. Antisaccade RT (β = -0.003, t = -1.81, p = 0.0721) was not significant in predicting CES-D scores. However, RRS (β = 0.41, t = 11.56, p < 0.001), and the interaction between antisaccade RT and RRS (β = -0.0003, t = -2.17, p = 0.03) predicted CES-D scores. A simple slopes analysis was completed to examine the moderating effects of RRS on the relationship between antisaccade RT and CES-D.  The results indicate that RRS moderated the relationship between antisaccade RT and CES-D at high (β = -0.007, t = -2.97, p = 0.003) levels of RRS, but not at low (β = 0.0006, t = 0.23, p < 0.81) or medium (β = -0.0033, t = -1.81, p = 0.07) levels of RRS. Thus, rumination moderated the relationship between AC and symptoms of depression, but only for individuals who were high in trait rumination. This finding is consistent with the notion that executive control processes are not only distrupted in depression, but may be responsible for depressive symptoms especially among those individuals who do not have more adaptive ways to cope with negative emotion than rumination.  

Alisson Lass

North Dakota State University
Fargo, North Dakota

Phuong Tran

North Dakota State University

Brandon Saxton

North Dakota State University

Tharaki Siyaguna

North Dakota State University

Samantha K. Myhre

Graduate Student
North Dakota State University
West Fargo, North Dakota

Paul D. Rokke

North Dakota State University