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Problem-solving deficits in depressed children, adolescents, and adults
Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center Publications and Presentations
  • Leonard A. Doerfler, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Larry L. Mullins, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Nora J. Griffin, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Lawrence J. Siegel, University of Florida
  • C. Steven Richards, University of Missouri-Columbia
UMMS Affiliation
Department of Psychiatry
Publication Date
Document Type
Depression; Depressive Disorder; Problem Solving; Interpersonal Relations

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.

DOI of Published Version

Doerfler, L. A., Mullins, L., Griffin, N., Siegel, L. J., & Richards, C. S. (1984). Problem solving deficits in depressed children, adolescents, and adults. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 8(5):489-499. DOI 10.1007/BF01173286


At the time of publication, Leonard Doerfler was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Citation Information
Leonard A. Doerfler, Larry L. Mullins, Nora J. Griffin, Lawrence J. Siegel, et al.. "Problem-solving deficits in depressed children, adolescents, and adults" Vol. 8 Iss. 5 (1984)
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