This study examined the Response Styles Theory in a large, racially and ethnically diverse sample (N = 722) of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. We examined the role of response styles (rumination, distraction, and problem-solving) as predictors of changes in depressive symptoms over a seven-month period. Higher levels of rumination and lower levels of problem-solving and distraction were associated with increases in depressive symptoms over time. Response style ratio scores (rumination scores divided by the sum of distraction and problem-solving scores) also predicted increases in depressive symptoms over time. Girls reported greater depressive symptoms compared to boys, and both rumination and response style ratio score statistically accounted for the gender difference in depressive symptoms. Clinical implications include the importance of problem-solving training and rumination reduction techniques in preventive interventions.