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A literature review of Nolen-Hoeksema's response styles theory

14 December 2001


The Response Styles Theory developed by Susan Nolen-Hoeksema appears to hold significant promise for helping to explain the etiology of depression. The theory posits reasons why some people may be depressed while some are not, and why women tend to be depressed more than men. This article outlines the theory and reviews extensive relevant research findings in order to assess how the theory fares under investigation. The review shows that the literature, as a whole, supports the theory fairly well. Also, some suggestions are offered regarding clinical application and foci for further investigative efforts.


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