Depression affects about 20% of the U.S. population at some point in their lifespan (Gotlib & Hammen, 2002). One symptom of depression is impairment in cognitive functioning. Extensive research has previously identified a link between depressed mood and memory difficulties (Burt, Zembar, & Niederehe, 1995; O'Conner, Pollitt, Roth, Brook, & Reiss, 1990; Watkins & Teasdale, 2004). The purpose of the current study is to better understand the relationship between negative affect and memory impairment. I hypothesized that rumination would moderate the relationship between negative affect and working memory such that individuals who respond to negative affect with rumination would be particularly likely to show impairment in working memory. This was a single time point study in which participants were randomly assigned to one of two possible conditions. In each condition, participants were given a stressor task, the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT). This was followed by either failure feedback or success feedback. 146 undergraduate students, ages 18 to 30 were recruited and randomly assigned to one of the two conditions. The sample was approximately 79% female and 78% Caucasian and had a mean age of 18.77 (SD = 1.36). Participants completed measures of current depressive symptoms, trait rumination, affective state pre and post stressor task, and working memory. This study's findings lend support to previous research in that these results yielded a significant main effect of both the failure condition (F (1, 143) = 124.20, p = .00, partial &eegr; 2 = .47) and self-reported negative mood (F (3, 145) = 14.59, p = .00, R2 = .22) on lower working memory scores. Greater rumination appeared to have a main effect of lower working memory scores (F (2, 139) = 12.59, p = .00, partial &eegr;2 = .15) with rumination accounting for approximately 4% of the difference in working memory scores. However, results did not find support for a moderated model (F (2, 139) = .02, p = .98, partial &eegr;2 = .00). Although negative affect and rumination predicted working memory scores, rumination did not moderate the relationship suggesting that a different model may explain the cognitive effects of depression.
|Advisor:||Mezulis, Amy H.|
|Commitee:||Brown, Margaret, Skidmore, Jay R.|
|School:||Seattle Pacific University|
|School Location:||United States -- Washington|
|Source:||DAI-B 75/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Behavioral psychology, Clinical psychology|
|Keywords:||Depression, Negative affect, Rumination, Working memory|
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