Comparison of ruminative responses with negative rumination as a vulnerability factor for depression

Psychol Rep. 2006 Dec;99(3):763-72. doi: 10.2466/PR0.99.3.763-772.


Several studies have shown that the ruminative responses, which are defined as a coping pattern that focuses on the symptoms of depression and on the possible causes and consequences of these symptoms, are associated with depression. Recently, negative rumination, which is defined as the tendency to continue to think about something bad, harmful, or unhopeful for a long time, has been proposed as a vulnerability factor for depression. The purpose of this study was to compare depression scores associated with negative rumination and ruminative responses. We expected to find depression associated with negative rumination. The sample consisted of 188 Japanese undergraduate students (83 men: M age= 19.0 yr., SD= 1.1; 105 women: M age = 19.1 yr., SD = 1.7) taking a human sciences course at a Japanese university. Subjects participated in an 8-mo. longitudinal study. Logistic analysis indicated that negative rumination was a significant predictor of depression. However, ruminative responses as a whole were not a significant predictor of depression after controlling for negative rumination. These findings suggest that it is important to distinguish whether rumination is focused on negative or nonnegative subject matter.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Attitude*
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Personality Inventory
  • Risk Factors
  • Students / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thinking*