What predicts the trajectory of rumination?: A prospective evaluation


The current report aimed to document individual differences that predict the trajectory of post-event rumination following an evaluative event. In this study, 127 undergraduate students were assessed over a 5-day period preceding and following a mid-term exam. Participants completed measures of anticipatory processing, trait test anxiety, trait tendency to ruminate, negative affect, and post-event rumination. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to examine predictors of post-evaluative rumination. Results suggested that individuals who reported high levels of anticipatory processing and trait test anxiety tended to experience prolonged amounts of rumination following the exam, even when controlling for negative affect, relative to those who scored low on these measures. These results suggest that specific individual difference factors impact the amount and trajectory of rumination beyond levels of general negative affect. Implications for understanding risk factors for heightened rumination are discussed, with particular attention to the larger rumination literature. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Publication Title

Journal of Anxiety Disorders