The Four Faces of Rumination to Stressful Events: A Psychometric Analysis

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Objective: To increase the knowledge of rumination and its associations with stressful events, we explored the relationships between 4 types of rumination (brooding, reflection, intrusive, and deliberate rumination) in a sample of 750 adult participants who experienced a highly stressful event. We also explored the predictive value of the different types of rumination on posttraumatic stress symptoms and posttraumatic growth 6 months after the highly stressful event occurred. Method: Participants completed the Ruminative Response Scale and the Event-Related Rumination Inventory. Brooding and reflection rumination were obtained from the Ruminative Response Scale, whereas deliberate and intrusive rumination were obtained from the Event-Related Rumination Inventory. Confirmatory factorial analyses were conducted using the 4 types of rumination to test 3 different models: (a) 4-factor model (brooding, reflection, intrusive, and deliberate rumination), (b) 2-factor model: adaptive rumination (reflection and deliberate) and maladaptive rumination (brooding and intrusive), and (c) 2-factor model: depressive rumination (brooding and reflection) and posttraumatic rumination (intrusive and deliberate). Results: It was observed that the 4-factor model showed the best fit to the data. Moreover, 6 months later it was observed that the most significant predictor of posttraumatic symptoms was intrusive rumination, whereas deliberate rumination was the most significant predictor of posttraumatic growth. Conclusions: Results indicate that the 4 types of rumination are differentiated constructs. Ruminative thoughts experienced after a stressful event predicted posttraumatic consequences 6 months later. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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