The mediating effect of rumination between posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and anger reactions

Psychol Trauma. 2020 Sep;12(6):619-626. doi: 10.1037/tra0000579. Epub 2020 Apr 16.


Objective: The relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anger is well established. However, further investigation into the underlying mechanisms of this PTSD-anger relationship is needed. Rumination, a construct with a known association to PTSD symptoms, theoretically may mediate this PTSD-anger relationship.

Design: We conducted a mediational model using self-report measures of PTSD symptoms, rumination, and anger reactions from a nonclinical, trauma-exposed sample (N = 339) through Amazon's Mechanical Turk.

Results: Rumination mediated overall PTSD symptoms and anger reactions, controlling for age and gender identity. Further analyses examined this mediating role between PTSD subscale scores and anger. Rumination mediated all PTSD subscales and anger when modeled separately. After adjusting for other PTSD symptoms, only 2 subscales' relationship with anger remained mediated by rumination: negative alterations in cognitions/mood and physiological arousal.

Conclusions: Rumination should be assessed in the context of PTSD and anger symptoms, specifically physiological arousal and negative moods/cognitions symptoms in PTSD. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anger / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychological Trauma / physiopathology*
  • Rumination, Cognitive / physiology*
  • Self Report
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / physiopathology*
  • Young Adult