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Susan Nolen-Hoeksema’s Contributions to Abnormal Psychology

Susan Nolen-Hoeksema’s Contributions to Abnormal Psychology

Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, an American psychologist, was a celebrated figure in the field of psychology. She was a professor of psychology and the founder and director of the Women’s Center for Advancement of Research, Training, and Education for Women at Yale University. Her contributions to abnormal psychology have significantly impacted how we understand and treat mood disorders, particularly in the area of rumination.


Susan Nolen-Hoeksema was born in 1959 in Pennsylvania, USA. She received her undergraduate degree from Yale University and went on to earn her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984. She began her academic career at the University of Michigan, where she worked for over a decade before returning to Yale University.

Research on Mood Disorders

Nolen-Hoeksema’s research focused on the link between depression and rumination. Rumination is the tendency to repeatedly think about negative thoughts or situations without taking any action to change them. It is a common symptom of depression. Nolen-Hoeksema’s work showed that women, in particular, were more likely to ruminate than men, which in turn increased their risk of developing depression and other mood disorders.

Her research on rumination and depression led to the development of a treatment program for women called "cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression and anxiety." This treatment program helps women to challenge negative thinking patterns, change their behaviors, and develop new coping strategies.

Publications and Awards

Nolen-Hoeksema was a prolific writer, with over 100 publications to her name. Her books, such as "Women Who Think Too Much" and "The Power of Women," have been translated into several languages and are widely read around the world.

Her contributions to the field of psychology have not gone unnoticed. She received numerous awards during her career, including the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award from the Association for Psychological Science and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology.


Susan Nolen-Hoeksema passed away in 2013, leaving behind a legacy that has had a profound impact on the field of psychology. Her research on rumination and depression has helped countless individuals suffering from mood disorders to find effective treatment.

Her work has also shed light on the importance of including women in psychological research, as their experiences and perspectives are often overlooked. Her advocacy for women’s issues in psychology has inspired other researchers to follow in her footsteps.

In conclusion, Susan Nolen-Hoeksema was a remarkable woman who made significant contributions to the field of abnormal psychology. Her work on rumination and depression has revolutionized our understanding of mood disorders and has helped countless individuals to find the help they need. Her legacy will continue to inspire and influence future generations of psychologists for many years to come.


Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, abnormal psychology, psychology, rumination, depression, treatment program, cognitive-behavioral therapy.