Rumination and Avoidance as Predictors of Prolonged Grief, Depression, and Posttraumatic Stress in Female Widowed Survivors of War

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Abstract

This study examined independent contributions of rumination and experiential avoidance in predicting symptoms of psychological distress among female widowed survivors of war. A decade after the war in Kosovo, 100 widowed survivors of war completed measures of rumination, experiential avoidance, depression, posttraumatic stress, and prolonged grief. Results showed that both rumination and experiential avoidance significantly predicted the symptom severity of prolonged grief, depression, and posttraumatic stress. Furthermore, rumination accounted for additional variance above and beyond experiential avoidance and vice versa. Finally, the interaction of rumination and experiential avoidance did not provide significant explanatory power over and above the individual main effects. These findings suggest that rumination and experiential avoidance may be significant factors in understanding and treating psychological distress following exposure to potentially traumatic events and loss due to violence.

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