Obsessive-Compulsive and Depressive Symptoms: The Role of Depressive Cognitive Styles

Ashley M. Shaw, Julia Y. Carbonella, Kimberly A. Arditte Hall, Kiara R Timpano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) commonly co-occurs with depression, resulting in heightened severity and poorer treatment response. Research on the associations between specific obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) and depressive symptoms has utilized measures that have not fully considered the relationship across OCS dimensions. Little is known about which factors explain the overlap between OCS and depressive symptoms. OCS and depressive symptoms may be related via depressive cognitive styles, such as rumination or dampening (i.e., down-regulating positive emotions). We evaluated the associations of OCS dimensions with depressive symptoms and cognitive styles. We also examined the indirect effects of rumination and dampening in the relationship between OCS and depressive symptoms. Participants (N = 250) completed questionnaires online. Greater depressive symptoms, rumination, and dampening were associated with greater levels of all OCS dimensions. Path analysis was utilized to examine a model including the direct effect of depressive symptoms on overall OCS and two indirect effects (through rumination and dampening). There was a significant indirect effect of depressive cognitive styles on the relationship between OCS and depressive symptoms, through rumination and dampening. Replication in a clinical sample and experimental manipulations may bear important implications for targeting depressive cognitive styles in treatments for OCD and depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-546
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 18 2017


  • Anxiety
  • cognitive style
  • depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Psychology(all)


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