The interpersonal context of rumination: An investigation of interpersonal antecedents and consequences of the ruminative response style

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The interpersonal context of rumination: An investigation of interpersonal antecedents and consequences of the ruminative response style

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Title: The interpersonal context of rumination: An investigation of interpersonal antecedents and consequences of the ruminative response style
Author: Pearson, Katherine Ann
Advisor: Watkins, Edward RMullan, Eugene G
Citation: Pearson, Watkins, Kuyken, Mullan (2009)Pearson, Watkins, Mullan (2010)Pearson, Watkins, Mullan, Moberly (2010)
Publisher: University of Exeter
Date Issued: 2010-04-22
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10036/113445
Abstract: The thesis aim was to increase understanding of interpersonal antecedents and consequences of rumination, defined as ‘repetitive and passive thinking about one’s symptoms of depression and the possible causes and consequences of those symptoms’ (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2004, p.107). As a proof-of-principle study, rumination predicted diminished relationship satisfaction, three months later, in a sample of remitted depressed adults (N = 57). In the next study, rumination was associated with a maladaptive submissive interpersonal style and rejection sensitivity, controlling for depressive symptoms, other interpersonal styles and gender, in a different sample (N = 103 currently depressed, previously depressed and never depressed adults). Subsequent chapters incorporated a second assessment point of data from this same sample. Longitudinal analyses were undertaken to investigate; a) do rumination and depressogenic interpersonal factors predict future depression?; b) does rumination prospectively predict increased rejection sensitivity and submissive interpersonal behaviours, and, vice-versa, do these interpersonal factors predict increased rumination?; c) does rumination prospectively predict poor social adjustment and interpersonal stress? Consistent with previous findings, Time 1 rumination predicted increased depression six months later. Unexpectedly, the effect of rumination on future depression was mediated by its relationship with the submissive interpersonal style. Partially consistent with the stated predictions, Time 1 rejection sensitivity (but not the submissive interpersonal style) prospectively predicted increased rumination, but rumination did not predict rejection sensitivity or the submissive interpersonal style. As predicted, rumination prospectively predicted increased chronic interpersonal stress and poor social adjustment (but not acute interpersonal stress). In a final study, rumination was manipulated via an applied intervention (concreteness training, CT), within the context of a randomized controlled trial (N = 79 clinically depressed adults). Analyses compared the change in social adjustment and submissive interpersonal behaviour reported in the CT condition compared to a treatment as usual (TAU) condition. There was a significantly greater reduction in rumination in the CT compared to TAU condition, p < .05. Moreover, the reduction in submissive interpersonal behaviours was significantly greater in the CT compared to TAU condition, p < .05. The change in social adjustment was not greater in the CT compared to TAU condition. Thus, a psychological intervention which reduces rumination decreased maladaptive submissive interpersonal behaviour. The implications of the findings are discussed in relation to theory of rumination and interpersonal theories of depression.
Type: Thesis or dissertation
Keywords: DepressionRuminationBroodingInterpersonal styleAttachment styleRejection sensitivitySocial functioningSubmissiveness
Funders/Sponsor: Economic Social Research Council (ESRC)National Health Service


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