The Sentence Completion Test for Depression(SCD; e.g., Barton, Morley, Bloxham, Kitson, & Platts, 2005) is a less structured measure of cognitive distortion in depression. It consists of 48 short sentence stems that tap known areas of depressive thinking (e.g., ‘I think …’. ‘Things in general …’). The sentence completions are coded as negative, positive, or neutral thoughts using a manual. Patients with depression have been found to produce more negative thoughts and fewer positive thoughts than controls. Despite its open-ended format, the SCD has demonstrated good construct validity, internal consistency, inter-rater reliability, sensitivity, and specificity. Moreover, the SCD elicits idiographic information that can be Cognitive Assessment 24
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helpful in identifying target problems and dysfunctional beliefs in the CBT case formulation (Barton et al., 2005).Cognitive ProcessesA variety of self-regulatory mechanisms have been implicated in the development and maintenance of depressive phenomenology. Theorists have suggested that excessive self-focused attention may be related to affective self-regulatory deficits (Carver & Scheier, 1982). One prominent measure of self-focused attention is the Self-Focused Sentence Completion(SFSC) task (Exner, 1973). The SFSC is a 30-item scale in which participants read sentence stems (e.g., "I wish..." or "When I look in the mirror...") and complete them any way they choose. In the scoring system by Exner (1973), the SFSC yields 10 scores: total self-focus (S); self-focus positive, negative and neutral; total external focus (E); external focus positive, negative and neutral; total ambivalent (A); and total neutral (N). Exner (1973) has reported adequate scoring reliabilities for both experienced and novice raters. A variety of studies have indicated that both mildly and clinically depressed individuals generate more self-focus responses, and fewer external-focus responses than nondepressives (e.g., Ingram, Lumry, Cruet, & Sieber, 1987). Another frequently-employed measure of self-focused attention is the Self-ConsciousnessScale(SCS: Fenigstein, Scheier, & Buss, 1975). The SCS consists of three factor analytically-derived subscales: private self-consciousness (10 items); public self-consciousness (7 items); andsocial anxiety (6 items). The private self-consciousness subscale (e.g., "I'm always trying to figure myself out") is considered the dispositional equivalent of the self-focused attention state. This subscale's reliability and validity has been demonstrated in several studies (e.g., Fenigstein et al., 1975). It also has been shown to be significantly associated with depression (see Mor & Winquist, 2002).The Ruminative Response Scale (RRS) from the Response Styles Questionnaire(RSQ; Nolen-Hoeksema & Morrow, 1991) is a 22-item measure designed to measure dispositional Cognitive Assessment 25
repetitive thinking about the causes, consequences, and symptoms of current negative affect. TheRRS has demonstrated good internal reliability (see Samtani & Moulds, 2017; Smith & Alloy, 2009). The stability of RRS is critical in that rumination is proposed to be a reliable individual difference variable that plays a role in the onset, maintenance, and recurrence of depression. The
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