Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Clinical Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Craig McFarland

Commitee Members

Stuart Hall, Catherine Off


Rumination, Depression, Prospective Memory, Memory


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology


Depression is related to prospective memory (PM) impairment. However, the research on depression-related PM impairment remains inconclusive. No study to date has taken into account the possible effects of depressive-rumination, which is known to impair executive functions underlying PM. The current study addresses this gap in the literature. Participants: Participants were grouped according to self-reported depression severity per the Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition (BDI-II). Fifty-five individuals with low (BDI-II < 8), 17 individuals with moderate (BDI-II 9-18), and 16 individuals with high (BDI-II > 19) symptoms of depression were included in the study. Method: Participants completed demographic and trait and state rumination questionnaires. Participants within each group were then randomly assigned to either a rumination or distraction condition. Following this manipulation, participants completed a modified version of the Memory for Intentions Test. Results: Regardless of depression severity, inducted state rumination had no effect on PM. In addition, depression severity was unrelated to both event- and time-based PM trials, and overall PM performance. Interestingly, trait rumination was negatively correlated with overall PM performance in the low group compared to the moderate group, wherein trait rumination was positively correlated with overall PM performance. Trait rumination was not correlated with overall PM performance in the high depressive symptom group. Conclusion: The current study failed to demonstrate depression-related PM impairment as a function of depressive-rumination. Furthermore, depression severity had no effect on overall PM performance. The positive correlation between trait rumination and overall PM performance in the moderate group offers some support for the positive benefits of rumination among people experiencing sub-clinical depression proposed by Albiński et al., 2012. Results from the current study should be interpreted with caution given the small sample size and low statistical power. Further research is needed to elucidate the effects of depressive-rumination on PM.



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