Recent studies have suggested that ruminative and distractive response styles to negative moods could have adaptive and maladaptive consequences, respectively. However, whether there is a common component in the adaptive aspects of ruminative or distractive response styles has not been examined sufficiently. Adaptiveness of ruminative or distractive response styles is considered to be associated with decentering; thus, we investigated the indirect effects of four types of the response style (adaptive/maladaptive aspects of each response style) on depression through decentering. In this study, 241 Japanese undergraduate students (75 men and 166 women) were assessed using the Response Style Scale, the Japanese Version of Experience Questionnaire, and the Japanese Version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Mediation analyses revealed that decentering fully mediated the effects of adaptive aspects of ruminative and distractive response styles on depression whereas it partially mediated the effects of maladaptive aspects of response styles. These results indicate that the adaptiveness of response styles is influenced by decentering, and it particularly works in the adaptive aspects of ruminative/distractive response styles as a common element. Thus, a possibility is suggested that cultivating decentered perspective is effective in reducing maladaptive aspects of both response styles to negative moods or objects.
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