Co-rumination in the friendships of girls and boys

Child Dev. 2002 Nov-Dec;73(6):1830-43. doi: 10.1111/1467-8624.00509.


This research addresses a new construct, co-rumination. Co-rumination refers to extensively discussing and revisiting problems, speculating about problems, and focusing on negative feelings. Friendship research indicates that self-disclosure leads to close relationships; however, coping research indicates that dwelling on negative topics leads to emotional difficulties. Co-rumination is a single construct that integrates both perspectives and is proposed to be related both to positive friendship adjustment and problematic emotional adjustment. Third-, fifth-, seventh-, and ninth-grade participants (N = 608) responded to questionnaires, including a new measure of co-rumination. Co-rumination was related to high-quality, close friendships and aspects of depression and anxiety. Girls reported co-ruminating more than did boys, which helped to account for girls' more positive friendship adjustment and greater internalizing symptoms. Other analyses addressed whether co-rumination and the related constructs of self-disclosure and rumination had different relations with friendship and emotional adjustment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Affect*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Friends*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Self Disclosure
  • Social Adjustment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires