The aim of the current study was to examine the applicability of resiliency models in explaining the prediction of depressive symptoms from rumination, and the role of agency and pathways as protective factors among Australian adults. The first hypothesis, based on the direct effects models, that high levels of rumination and that low levels of agency and pathways would be associated with high levels of depressive symptoms was supported for both men and women. The second hypothesis, based on the compensatory model, that rumination would be positively associated with depressive symptoms, while each protective factor would be negatively associated with the level of depressive symptoms, was supported for agency for both men and women, and supported for pathways for women but not men. The third hypothesis, consistent with the risk-protective model, predicted that high levels of each protective factor would reduce the influence of rumination on depressive symptoms. Results supported this model when both agency and pathways were the protective factors for women, but not for men. The fourth hypothesis, based on the protective-protective model, proposed that the relationship between rumination and depressive symptoms weakens as the number of protective factors increases. This hypothesis was supported for women, but for men the rumination-depressive symptoms relation strengthened as the number of protective factors increased.
Direct effects models
The finding that higher levels of rumination were directly associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms for both men and women is consistent with previous research (Lavender & Watkins, 2004; Lyubomirsky & Nolen-Hoeksema, 1993, 1995; Lyubomirsky et al., 1998; Nolen-Hoeksema, 2000). Results from the current study provide additional support for rumination being a risk factor for depressive symptoms for both men and women in a sample of Australian adults.
Rumination is a key antecedent for depressive outcomes as underlying cognitive effects interfere with adaptive thought processes in several ways (Lavender & Watkins, 2004; Lyubomirsky & Nolen-Hoeksema, 1993, 1995; Lyubomirsky et al., 1998; Lyubomirsky et al., 1999). First, it has been suggested that rumination enhances negative cognitive biases in information processing, resulting in sustained negative mood states (Lavender & Watkins, 2004; Lyubomirsky & Nolen-Hoeksema, 1995; Lyubomirsky et al., 1998; Lyubomirsky et al., 1999; McFarland & Buehler, 1998; Rimes & Watkins, 2005). Second, rumination impairs effective problem-solving, leaving individuals fixated on their problems without taking adaptive actions to relieve them (Hong, 2007; Lyubomirsky & Nolen-Hoeksema, 1995; Lyubomirsky et al., 1999; Nolen-Hoeksema, 1991; Papageorgiou & Wells, 2001; Ward et al., 2003; Watkins & Baracaia, 2002; Watkins & Moulds, 2005). Finally, the motivation to engage in instrumental behaviour is compromised by ruminative responses (Lyubomirsky et al., 2006; Lyubomirsky &...