Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 702–713 | Cite as

Ruminative Responses to Negative and Positive Affect Among Students Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder

  • Sheri L. Johnson
  • Gavin McKenzie
  • Stephanie McMurrich
Original paper


Rumination in response to negative affect has been found to predict the onset, severity, and duration of depressive symptoms. Few researchers, however, have considered rumination within bipolar disorder, nor have studies considered parallel responses that might intensify positive affect. The current study examined self-reported rumination in response to both negative and positive affect among people diagnosed via the SCID with BPD (n = 28), major depressive disorder (MDD; n = 35), or no mood disorder (n = 44). Participants completed the Ruminative Response Scale and the Responses to Positive Affect Questionnaire about their dispositional tendencies. Results indicated that compared to control participants, people with BPD and MDD endorsed heightened rumination in response to negative affect, but only those with BPD endorsed elevated rumination in response to positive affect. Within BPD, ruminative responses to negative affect were explained by depressive symptoms. Goals for understanding responses to negative and positive affect in BPD are suggested.


Bipolar disorder Mania Rumination Affect regulation 



We thank Lori Eisner, Dan Fulford, Chris Miller, Jason Esteves, William Arguelles, Jennifer Earnest, Bianca Stefan, Allie Grace, Pamela Baker, Johanna Malaga, and Andrea Garcia for assistance in data collection and S.T. Calvin for suggestions during analyses of data.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheri L. Johnson
    • 1
  • Gavin McKenzie
    • 2
  • Stephanie McMurrich
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA
  2. 2.Pennsylvania State University Hershey Medical CenterHersheyUSA

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