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
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