Rumination in Interpersonal Relationships: Does Co-rumination Explain Gender Differences in Emotional Distress and Relationship Satisfaction Among College Students?
Rose (Child Dev 73:1830–1843, 2002) found evidence that co-rumination accounts for girls’ greater emotional distress as well as their greater friendship satisfaction compared to boys. Co-rumination is defined as a passive, repetitive discussion of symptoms or problems with a close other. The present study explored the associations between co-rumination in various types of close relationships and both emotional distress and relationship satisfaction in college students. First, confirmatory factor analyses demonstrated that co-rumination is distinct from depressive rumination. Further, co-rumination with one’s closest friend mediated the relationship between gender and both depressive symptoms and friendship satisfaction. Specifically, females reported higher levels of co-rumination with their closest friend, which in turn, predicted their higher levels of depressive symptomatology and friendship satisfaction. In contrast, there were no gender differences in co-rumination in other close relationships, and for the most part, co-rumination in these relationships was not associated with gender differences in emotional distress or relationship satisfaction. Therefore, co-rumination in close friendships may be particularly important in understanding the higher levels of both depression and relationship satisfaction among females compared to males.
KeywordsRumination Co-rumination Social support Depression Anxiety Interpersonal Distress Relationship satisfaction
- Beck, A. T., Steer, R. A., & Brown, G. K. (1996). Manual for the Beck Depression Inventory-II. San Antonio, TX: Psychological Corp.Google Scholar
- Berscheid, E., Snyder, M., & Omoto, A. M. (1989). Issues in studying close relationships: Conceptualizing and measuring closeness. In C. Hendrick (Ed.), Review of personality and social psychology (Vol. 10, pp. 63–91). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Brown, T. A. (2006). Confirmatory factor analysis for applied research. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Clark, M. L., & Bittle, M. L. (1992). Friendship expectations and the evaluation of present friendships in middle childhood and early adolescence. Child Study Journal, 22, 115–135.Google Scholar
- Lee, G. R., Dwyer, J. W., & Coward, R. T. (1993). Gender differences in parent care: Demographic factors and same-gender preferences. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 48, 9–16.Google Scholar
- Muthen, L. K., & Muthen, B. O. (1998–2006). Mplus user’s guide (4th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Muthen & Muthen.Google Scholar
- Sobel, M. E. (1982). Asymptotic confidence intervals for indirect effects in structural equation models. In S. Leinhardt (Ed.), Sociological methodology (pp. 290–312). Washington, DC: American Sociological Association.Google Scholar
- Sprinkle, S. D., Lurie, D., Insko, S. L., Atkinson, G., Jones, G. L., Logan, A. R., et al. (2002). Criterion validity, severity cut scores, and test–retest reliability of the Beck Depression Inventory-II in a university counseling center sample. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 49(3), 381–385. doi: 10.1037/0022-0184.108.40.2061.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Waller, E. M. (2005). Co-rumination in mother–child relationships during childhood and adolescence. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 67(2-B), 2006, 1173.Google Scholar
- Zlotnick, C., Kohn, R., Keitner, G., & Della Grotta, S. A. (2000). The relationship between quality of interpersonal relationships and major depressive disorder: Findings from the National Comorbidity Survey. Journal of Affective Disorders, 59(3), 205–215. doi: 10.1016/S0165-0327(99)00153-6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar