Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Study on Rumination in Illness

This study looks at how the way that we tend to think a lot about certain things might influence our thoughts and behaviours that relate to acute illness, represented by cancer, and chronic illness, represented by diabetes . Increasing our understanding of how people think in response to illness may help identify individuals who may experience difficulties in adjusting to illness and also guide us in developing ways to help you overcome these difficulties.

Study now open to international participants. Please consider taking part. Click on the link below.

For more information on the study or the Multi-Dimensional Rumination in Illness Scale used in this study, please visit Thinking Style in Illness

Friday, March 18, 2011

Rumination, post-traumatic growth and distress: Structural equation modelling with cancer survivors


Objective: Theoretical models of post-traumatic growth (PTG) have been derived in the general trauma literature to describe the post-trauma experience that facilitates the perception of positive life changes. To develop a statistical model identifying factors that are associated with PTG, structural equation modelling (SEM) was used in the current study to assess the relationships between perception of diagnosis severity, rumination, social support, distress, and PTG.
Method: A statistical model of PTG was tested in a sample of participants diagnosed with a variety of cancers (N5313).
Results: An initial principal components analysis of the measure used to assess rumination revealed three components: intrusive rumination, deliberate rumination of benefits, and life purpose rumination. SEM results indicated that the model fit the data well and that 30% of the variance in PTG was explained by the variables. Trauma severity was directly related to distress, but not to PTG. Deliberately ruminating on benefits and social support were directly related to PTG. Life purpose rumination and intrusive rumination were associated with distress.
Conclusions: The model showed that in addition to having unique correlating factors, distress was not related to PTG, thereby providing support for the notion that these are discrete constructs in the post-diagnosis experience. The statistical model provides support that postdiagnosis experience is simultaneously shaped by positive and negative life changes and that one or the other outcome may be prevalent or may occur concurrently. As such, an implication for practice is the need for supportive care that is holistic in nature.

Morris, B. A., & Shakespeare-Finch, J. (2010). Rumination, post-traumatic growth and distress: Structural equation modelling with cancer survivors. [Electronic version]. Psycho-Oncology.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rumin8ing on this blog

Good intentions and all that......I've been sidetracked by my own research in rumination. I am now in the process of writing up both the pilot and validation studies for a newly developed scale for measuring rumination in illness, The Multidimensional Rumination in Illness Scale (MRIS) and also in the process of implementing a study looking again at rumination in the context of illness.

That said, I hope to be adding more rumination resources in spare moments and again would be very happy to receive any suggestions of useful links. Please send to rumin8erATgmail.com....and, if you're reading this? Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Construal level, rumination and psychological distress in palliative care


Background Patients with a life-limiting illness, such as cancer, and their carers experience elevated psychological distress. However, the psychological mechanisms underpinning psychological distress in palliative care have been little studied. Recent theories predict that individuals who experience increased uncertainty in the contexdt of ongoing difficulties, such as palliative-care patients and their carers, will (a) think more abstractly; (b) ruminate more; and (c) be more distressed.

Methods Patients (n=36, 90% with cancer), their carers (n=29), and age-matched controls (n = 30) completed standardized questionnaires to assess anxiety, depression, and rumination, and open-ended interviews to identify their concerns and idiosyncratic levels of rumination. Concerns were analyzed linguistically for level of abstraction.

Results As predicted, (i) palliative patients and carers reported significantly more uncertainty, rumination, and abstract thinking than controls; (ii) uncertainty, abstractedness, and rumination were associated with psychological distress.

Conclusions Abstraction and rumination are psychological mechanisms potentially involved in increased psychological distress in palliative care.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Trait-impulsivity moderates the relationship between rumination and number of major depressive episodes among cigarette smokers


Background Despite the high prevalence of major depression among cigarette smokers, little is known about biobehavioural mechanisms that increase smoker's susceptibility to depression.

Aims The present study examined whether trait-impulsivity would moderate the relationship between rumination and number of past major depressive episodes (MDEs) among smokers (N=128).

Method Data were derived from baseline screening questionnaires and structured diagnostic interviews of two studies examining emotional responses of smokers with a history of major depression compared with smokers without depression histories.

Results As predicted, the interaction betwen rumination and trait-impulsivity was a significant predictor of MDE recurrence (beta= 0.408, p = .oo6, R2 change = 0.104) but not among those with low levels of impuslivity (beta = 0.203, p = 0.126, R2 change = 0.028).

Conclusions High levels of trait-impulsivity may increase vulnerability to rumination and MDE recurrence among smokers, potentially facilitating the likelihood of experiencing clinically revelant depressogenic consequences (e.g. suicidal ideation and behaviour).

McChargue, D. E., Drevo, S., Herrera, M. J., Doran, N., Salvi, S., & Klanecy, A. K. (2011). trait-impulsivity moderates the relationship between rumination and number of major depressive episodes among cigarette smokers, Mental Health and Substamce Use, 4, 96-104.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Research study, participants needed

Rumination and Informational Preferences in Psychological and Behavioural Outcomes in Illness: Reliability and validity testing of the Multidimensional Rumination in Illness Scale (MRIS)

This project is part of a research program that examines the role of ruminative thinking in psychological and behavioural outcomes in illness. In looking at the way in which thinking style influences a person’s emotional and behavioural response to illness, it is hoped to provide a way of identifying individuals who may experience difficulties in adjusting to illness and also guide the development of appropriate interventions.

This stage of the project involves validation and reliability testing of the newly-developed Multidimensional Rumination in Illness Scale (MRIS).

For this project, I am seeking English-speaking people who are over 18. Participation involves the completion of an on-line questionnaire, which will take approximately 30 minutes.

This study has been approved by the Macquarie University Ethics Review Committee (Human Subjects).

If this project is of interest to you, please go to the following website to start the questionnaire:

Thinking Style in Illness

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Maladaptive perfectionism, depression and rumination

Harris, P. W., Pepper, C. M., & Maack, D. J. (2008). The relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and depressive symptoms: The mediating role of rumination. Personality and Individual Differences,44, 150–160.


Maladaptive perfectionism is associated with both rumination and depressive symptoms (Frost, Marten, Lahart, & Rosenblate, 1990). In the current study we tested whether rumination, as well as the rumination components of reflective pondering and brooding, mediates the relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and depressive symptoms. College students (N = 96) completed the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale-Frost (Frost et al., 1990) and retrospectively reported levels of rumination on the Response Styles Questionnaire (Nolen-Hoeksema, 1991) and depressive symptoms on the Beck Depression Inventory II (Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1996) following a disappointing exam. Consistent with our model, rumination mediated the relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and depressive symptoms. Brooding, a component of rumination, also mediated this relationship whereas reflective pondering was a partial mediator. Results support a model whereby students who score high on maladaptive perfectionism report higher depressive symptoms through a mechanism of rumination.