A 20-year-old student enrolled in an undergraduate adjustment course implemented a self-modification program oriented toward the reduction of a 4-year history of moderate to severe depression. Following an initial baseline period, separate interventions were aimed at reducing depressive ruminatory activity by (a) reinforcing the gradual completion of academic tasks that had been serving as primary sources of negativistic thinking, and (b) reducing maladaptive rumination directly via the implementation of a cognitive-behavioral intervention package consisting of rational restructuring, covert self-reinforcement, and covert modeling. Results, analyzed by time series analysis, indicated a significant decline in frequency and intensity of self-monitored depressive thoughts only during the cognitive-behavioral intervention. Moreover, treatment effects were maintained at 6-month follow-up, with self-report data being corroborated by independent peer evaluation. Limitations and potential implications of the present single-subject experiment are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Clinical Psychology