Mediating Role of Decentering in the Associations between Self-Reflection, Self-Rumination, and Depressive Symptoms


Theorists have suggested that self-focused attention has adaptive and maladaptive aspects and have proposed self-rumination and self-reflection. Previous research on self-focus and mindfulness have shown that self-rumination increases depression and counteracts decentering which is the capacity to take a detached view of one’s thoughts and emotions. On the contrary, although self-reflection was defined as an adaptive type of self-focus, its contents or mode have not been examined, and the mechanism of its contribution to psychological adjustment is still not well understood. Hence, we explored the function of self-reflection in relation to decentering to elucidate its adaptivity. Two-hundred and forty-nine Japanese undergraduate students participated in our cross-sectional questionnaire study. Mediation analysis indicated that individuals with higher levels of self-reflection showed more decentering and less depressive symptoms while self-ruminative participants showed less decentering and more depressive symptoms. This result suggests that self-reflection involves decentered self-focused attention, and its adaptive function appears when self-reflection leads to increased decentering.

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Mori, M. & Tanno, Y. (2015). Mediating Role of Decentering in the Associations between Self-Reflection, Self-Rumination, and Depressive Symptoms. Psychology, 6, 613-621. doi: 10.4236/psych.2015.65059.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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