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A Prospective Test of the Clinical Metacognitive Model of Rumination and Depression

Published Online:

Rumination is a salient feature of dysphoria and depression. According to metacognitive theory (Wells & Matthews, 1994; Wells, 2009) metacognitive beliefs are associated with rumination and depression and contribute to the effect of rumination in the development of psychological disorder. Papageorgiou and Wells (2003, 2004) tested a metacognitive model of the factors responsible for the initiation and maintenance of rumination and its relationship with depression and several studies supported for the role of metacognitions. The present study used a prospective design to examine possible causal factors in the model by testing relationships between negative metacognitive beliefs, rumination, and depression in a nonclinical sample. The results showed that negative metacognitive beliefs about rumination prospectively predicted depression even after statistically controlling for initial levels of depression and rumination. However, rumination did not prospectively predict depression when controlling for negative metacognitive beliefs about rumination. The results are consistent with the metacognitive model of depression and are consistent with the focus in metacognitive therapy.