Subscale of the Response Styles Questionnaire (RSQ; Nolen-Hoeksema & Morrow, 1991)
22 items that address how often participants engage in responses to feeling sad or depressed.
Assesses responses that:
are self-focused (“Why do I have problems that other people don't have?”)
have a symptom focus (“Think about your feelings of fatigue and achiness”)
are focused on the causes or consequences of having a depressed mood (“I won’t be able to do my job if I don’t snap out of this”).
Four point Likert scale with anchors of 1 = ‘Never’ to 4 = ‘Always’.
The RRS has been extensively used and has been shown to have good internal consistency (Cronbach’s a = .82), moderate to high test-retest reliability over 1 year (r = 0.47, p < .001) and validity for predicting depression (Just & Alloy, 1997; Kuehner & Weber, 1999; Nolan, Roberts, & Gotlib, 1998; Nolen-Hoeksema et al., 1994; Nolen-Hoeksema, 2000; Spasojevic & Alloy, 2001). Items forming the RRS can be found in the following paper which address concerns regarding overlap of items with measures of depression. Treynor, W., Gonzalez, R., & Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2003). Rumination reconsidered: A psychometric analysis. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 27, 247-259. Please remember to request permission from Professor Nolen-Hoeksema before using the scale in your research.
Just, N., & Alloy, L. B. (1997). The response styles theory of depression: Tests and an extension of the theory. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 106, 221-229.
Kuehner, C., & Weber, I. (1999). Responses to depression in unipolar depressed patients: An investigation of Nolen-Hoeksema's response styles theory. Psychological Medicine, 29, 1323-1333.
Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2000). The role of rumination in depressive disorders and mixed anxiety/depressive symptoms. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 109, 504-511
Nolen-Hoeksema, S., Parker, L. E., & Larson, J. (1994). Ruminative coping with depressed mood following loss. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 92-104
Nolan, S. A., Roberts, J. E., & Gotlib, H. (1998). Neuroticism and ruminative response style as predictors of change in depressive symptomatology. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 22, 445-455.
Nolen-Hoeksema, S., & Morrow, J. (1991). A prospective study of depression and posttraumatic stress symptoms after a natural disaster: The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61, 115-121.
Spasojevic, J., & Alloy, L. B. (2001). Rumination as a common mechanism relating depressive risk factors to depression. Emotion, 1, 25-37.