Response Style Theory Revisited: Gender Differences and Stereotypes in Rumination and Distraction

Response Style Theory Revisited: Gender Differences and Stereotypes in Rumination and Distraction Response Style Theory [S. Nolen-Hoeksema (1987) “Sex Differences in Unipolar Depression: Evidence and Theory,” Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 101, pp. 259–282] suggests that, when depressed, women ruminate on their sad feelings while men distract themselves from theirs. We sought to examine this gender difference in more detail. In Study 1, 155 students provided stereotype ratings or self-reports of responses to depression. The stereotype ratings conformed precisely to Response Style Theory yet exaggerated self-reported gender differences, especially for men. In Study 2, 40 roommate pairs completed a similar set of ratings. Again, other-ratings conformed exactly to Response Style Theory's predictions while self-ratings showed a more moderated pattern. In both studies, women reported ruminating more than did men, yet men and women were equally likely to report distraction. We conclude by examining several hypotheses for the discrepancies between stereotypes and self-reports for men as well as the increased rates of rumination among women. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Response Style Theory Revisited: Gender Differences and Stereotypes in Rumination and Distraction

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 1997 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1025679223514
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Response Style Theory [S. Nolen-Hoeksema (1987) “Sex Differences in Unipolar Depression: Evidence and Theory,” Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 101, pp. 259–282] suggests that, when depressed, women ruminate on their sad feelings while men distract themselves from theirs. We sought to examine this gender difference in more detail. In Study 1, 155 students provided stereotype ratings or self-reports of responses to depression. The stereotype ratings conformed precisely to Response Style Theory yet exaggerated self-reported gender differences, especially for men. In Study 2, 40 roommate pairs completed a similar set of ratings. Again, other-ratings conformed exactly to Response Style Theory's predictions while self-ratings showed a more moderated pattern. In both studies, women reported ruminating more than did men, yet men and women were equally likely to report distraction. We conclude by examining several hypotheses for the discrepancies between stereotypes and self-reports for men as well as the increased rates of rumination among women.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 22, 2004

References

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