Problem-solving deficits in depressed children, adolescents, and adults

Leonard A. Doerfler, Larry L. Mullins, Nora J. Griffin, Lawrence J. Siegel, C. Steven Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Recent research has emphasized the importance of interpersonal problems with depression. It has been hypothesized that deficits in interpersonal problem-solving skills may account for many of these problems. Three studies that examined the relationship between problem-solving skills and depression are reported. Problem-solving skills among children, adolescents, and adults were assessed by the Means-Ends Problem Solving Test. Contrary to prediction, there were no differences in problem-solving skills between depressed and nondepressed groups; these findings were consistent across each age group. The external validity of such paper-and-pencil measures of problem solving is questioned; it is suggested that future research focus on how depressed individuals solve real-life problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-499
Number of pages11
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1984


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