The Psychological Record

, Volume 62, Issue 4, pp 777–788 | Cite as

The Interplay between Rumination and Intrusions in the Prediction of Concurrent and Prospective Depressive Symptoms in Two Nonclinical Samples

  • Jorien SmetsEmail author
  • Ineke Wessel
  • Ellen Schreurs
  • Filip Raes


Depressed patients commonly experience intrusive memories. There is some evidence that ruminative responses to those intrusions are important for maintaining depressive symptoms. Three models concerning the interplay of intrusions and rumination in the prediction of depressive symptoms were tested in students in 2 studies (N = 711): (a) rumination moderating between intrusions and depressive symptoms, (b) rumination partially mediating between intrusions and depressive symptoms, and (c) intrusions partially mediating between rumination and depressive symptoms. In our first, cross-sectional study, evidence was found for all models. In our second study, depressive symptoms were also measured prospectively. As for concurrent symptoms, we again found support for the mediation models but not for the moderation model. As for prospective symptoms, we only found evidence for the moderation model. Our findings suggest that rumination and intrusions are mutually reinforcing and that rumination about intrusions indeed contributes to the maintenance of depressive symptoms.


rumination intrusions depression 


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorien Smets
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ineke Wessel
    • 2
  • Ellen Schreurs
    • 1
  • Filip Raes
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Psychology and Educational SciencesUniversity of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.University of GroningenNetherlands

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