, Volume 29, Issue 7-8, pp 509-514

The effects of gender and response style on depressed mood

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Research has shown that gender differences in the rate of depression may be accounted for by different response styles. To examine whether response style affects mood, depressed mood was induced in 31 females and 33 males (all Caucasian) who were then randomly assigned to either a ruminating or a distracting response task. The findings supported the response style theory as the ruminating group remained depressed after the response task, while the distracting group became less depressed. Gender was not a factor in this experiment as both men and women reacted similarly to the mood induction and the experimental tasks. Although clinical implication cannot be determined from a study involving nondepressed subjects, it can be concluded that ruminating about one's depressed mood is not an effective method for overcoming depression.