Women are twice as likely as men to become depressed and this gender difference
emerges in early adolescence. One contributor to the gender difference in depression may be a greater tendency to ruminate in response to distress in females compared to males. Numerous studies of adults and a few studies of adolescents have established that rumination is a risk factor for depression and that females are more likely than males to ruminate. We briefly review these studies and the mechanisms by which rumination appears to exacerbate and prolong depression. Then we discuss how existing preventative intervention may help to reduce risk of depression by reducing the tendency to ruminate. Finally, we discuss how programs can be adapted to focus specifically on preventing the increase in depression in adolescent girls by reducing rumination.