Rumination and psychological distress among bereaved partners

J Pers Soc Psychol. 1997 Apr;72(4):855-62. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.72.4.855.


Recently bereaved men who evidenced more negative ruminative thoughts in free-response interviews showed greater psychological distress on several outcome measures both 1 month and 12 months after their loss and less increase in positive morale over this 12-month period. Men who engaged in more analysis of themselves and the meaning of their loss reported greater positive morale 1 month after their loss but showed more persistent depression and absence of positive states of mind over the 12 months following their loss. Finally, men who reported more social friction also evidenced more enduring depressive symptoms over the year than did men who reported less social friction. These results are generally consistent with other studies that have shown that self-reflective, ruminative coping with negative emotions and social friction are associated with longer and more severe periods of depressed mood following stressful events.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / psychology*
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Bereavement*
  • Caregivers / psychology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Male
  • Morale