Talking Together, Thinking Alone: Relations among Co-Rumination, Peer Relationships, and Rumination

Abstract

Girls are more likely to engage in rumination, associated with the development of mental health problems, as well as report higher levels of friendship quality, hypothesized to protect against these disorders. The current study examined whether co-rumination may drive simultaneous increases in rumination and changes in friendship quality among adolescents. The project included 360 participants (43% boys), ages 9.8 to 15.8 years, and analyses revealed that co-rumination mediated the link between female sex and both rumination and negative friendship quality. There was also a bidirectional relation between co-rumination and positive friendship quality. These findings highlight several pathways by which co-rumination mediates the relation between sex and both maladaptive (i.e. rumination, negative friendship quality) and adaptive (i.e. positive friendship quality) outcomes.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Notes

  1. 1.

    As students were asked to report their sex, the term “sex” (which refers to a biological construct) is used throughout the manuscript rather than “gender” (which refers to the social roles associated with sex).

  2. 2.

    In order to further examine the role of age in these relations, a sex by age (measured continuously) interaction was also examined as a predictor of Wave 1 rumination, co-rumination, positive and negative friendship quality. The interaction was not a significant predictor of any construct, nor was the indirect effect of the interaction significant in any of proposed mediation pathways.

References

  1. Abela, J. Z., Brozina, K., & Haigh, E. P. (2002). An examination of the response styles theory of depression in third- and seventh-grade children: A short-term longitudinal study. Journal Of Abnormal Child Psychology, 30(5), 515–527. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1019873015594.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Abela, J. R. Z., Rochon, A., & Vanderbilt, E. (2000). The Children’s Response Styles Questionnaire (Unpublished questionnaire). Montreal, Canada: McGill University.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Aldao, A., Nolen-Hoeksema, S., & Schweizer, S. (2010). Emotion-regulation strategies across psychopathology: A meta-analytic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(2), 217–237. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2009.11.004.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Bagby, R. M., & Parker, J. A. (2001). Relation of rumination and distraction with neuroticism and extraversion in a sample of patients with major depression. Cognitive Therapy And Research, 25(1), 91–102. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1026430900363.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Bastin, M., Mezulis, A. H., Ahles, J., Raes, F., & Bijttebier, P. (2015). Moderating effects of brooding and co-rumination on the relationship between stress and depressive symptoms in early adolescence: A multi-wave study. Journal Of Abnormal Child Psychology, 43(4), 607–618. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-014-9912-7.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Bastin, M., Vanhalst, J., Raes, F., & Bijttebier, P. (2018). Co-brooding and co-reflection as differential predictors of depressive symptoms and friendship quality in adolescents: Investigating the moderating role of gender. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 47(5), 1037–1051. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-017-0746-9.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Bentler, P. M. (1990). Comparative fit indexes in structural models. Psychological Bulletin, 107(2), 238–246. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.107.2.238.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  8. Bodell, L. P., Wildes, J. E., Cheng, Y., Goldschmidt, A. B., Keenan, K., Hipwell, A. E., & Stepp, S. D. (2018). Associations between race and eating disorder symptom trajectories in black and white girls. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 46(3), 625–638. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-017-0322-5.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  9. Bowman, J. M. (2008). Gender role orientation and relational closeness: Self-disclosive behavior in same-sex male friendships. The Journal Of Men’s Studies, 16(3), 316–330. https://doi.org/10.3149/jms.1603.316.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Broderick, P., & Korteland, C. (2002). Coping style and depression in early adolescence: Relationships to gender, gender role, and implicit beliefs. Sex Roles, 46, 201–213

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Calmes, C. A., & Roberts, J. E. (2008). Rumination in interpersonal relationships: Does Co-rumination explain gender differences in emotional distress and relationship satisfaction among college students? Cognitive Therapy And Research, 32(4), 577–590. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-008-9200-3.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Chaplin, T. M., & Aldao, A. (2013). Gender differences in emotion expression in children: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 139(4), 735–765. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0030737.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Colarossi, L. G., & Eccles, J. S. (2003). Differential effects of support providers on adolescents’ mental health. Social Work Research, 27(1), 19–30. https://doi.org/10.1093/swr/27.1.19.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Cook, T. D., & Campbell, D. T. (1979). Quasi-Experimentation: Design and Analysis Issues for Field Settings. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Dirghangi, S., Kahn, G., Laursen, B., Brendgen, M., Vitaro, F., Dionne, G., & Boivin, M. (2015). Co-rumination cultivates anxiety: A genetically informed study of friend influence during early adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 51(4), 564–571. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0038848.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. Dishion, T. J., Spracklen, K. M., Andrews, D. W., & Patterson, G. R. (1996). Deviancy training in male adolescents friendships. Behavior Therapy, 27(3), 373–390. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0005-7894(96)80023-2.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Dishion, T. J., & Tipsord, J. M. (2011). Peer contagion in child and adolescent social and emotional development. Annual Review Of Psychology, 62189-214. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.093008.100412

  18. Evans, S., Steel, A., & DiLillo, D. (2013). Child maltreatment severity and adult trauma symptoms: Does perceived social support play a buffering role? ChildAbuse & Neglect, 37(11), 934–943. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2013.03.005.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Felton, J. W., Cole, D. A., & Martin, N. C. (2013). Effects of rumination on child and adolescent depressive reactions to a natural disaster: The 2010 Nashville flood. Journal Of Abnormal Psychology, 122(1), 64–73. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0029303.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. Furman, W., & Buhrmester, D. (1985). Children’s perceptions of the personal relationships in their social networks. Developmental Psychology, 21(6), 1016–1024. https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.21.6.1016.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Furman, W., & Buhrmester, D. (2009). The Network of Relationships Inventory: Behavioral Systems Version. International Journal Of Behavioral Development, 33(5), 470–478. https://doi.org/10.1177/0165025409342634.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  22. Giletta, M., Scholte, R. J., Burk, W. J., Engels, R. E., Larsen, J. K., Prinstein, M. J., & Ciairano, S. (2011). Similarity in depressive symptoms in adolescents’ friendship dyads: Selection or socialization? Developmental Psychology, 47(6), 1804–1814. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0023872.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  23. Guassi Moreira, J. F., Miernicki, M. E., & Telzer, E. H. (2016). Relationship quality buffers association between co-rumination and depressive symptoms among first year college students. Journal Of Youth And Adolescence, 45(3), 484–493. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-015-0396-8.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. Hankin, B. L., Stone, L., & Wright, P. A. (2010). Corumination, interpersonal stress generation, and internalizing symptoms: Accumulating effects and transactional influences in a multiwave study of adolescents. Development And Psychopathology, 22(1), 217–235. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579409990368.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  25. Hill, J. P., & Lynch, M. C. (1983). The intensification of gender-related role expectations during early adolescence. In J. Brooks-Gunn & A. C. Petersen (Eds.), Girls at puberty: Biological and psychosocial perspectives (pp. 210–228). New York, NY: Plenum.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Jenkins, S. R., Goodness, K., & Buhrmester, D. (2002). Gender differences in early adolescents’ relationship qualities, self-efficacy, and depression symptoms. The Journal Of Early Adolescence, 22(3), 277–309. https://doi.org/10.1177/02731602022003003.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Jose, P. E., Wilkins, H., & Spendelow, J. S. (2012). Does social anxiety predict rumination and co-rumination among adolescents? Journal Of Clinical Child And Adolescent Psychology, 41(1), 86–91. https://doi.org/10.1080/15374416.2012.632346.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. Kercher, A., & Rapee, R. M. (2009). A test of a cognitive diathesis—Stress generation pathway in early adolescent depression. Journal Of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37(6), 845–855. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-009-9315-3.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  29. Kishton, J. M., & Widaman, K. F. (1994). Unidimensional versus domain representative parceling of questionnaire items: An empirical example. Educational And Psychological Measurement, 54(3), 757–765. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013164494054003022.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Little, R. J., & Rubin, D. B. (1987). Statistical analysis with missing data. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Little, T. D., Cunningham, W. A., Shahar, G., & Widaman, K. F. (2002). To parcel or not to parcel: Exploring the question, weighing the merits. Structural Equation Modeling, 9(2), 151–173. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15328007SEM0902_1.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. MacKinnon, D. P., Fairchild, A. J., & Fritz, M. S. (2007). Mediation analysis. Annual Review of Psycholology, 58, 593–614.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Marsh, H. W. (1993). Stability of Individual Differences in Multiwave Panel Studies: Comparison of Simplex Models and One-Factor Models. Journal of Educational Measurement, 30, 157–183. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-3984.1993.tb01072.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Martin, N. C., Felton, J. W., & Cole, D. A. (2016). Predictors of youths’ posttraumatic stress symptoms following a natural disaster: The 2010 Nashville, Tennessee, flood. Journal Of Clinical Child And Adolescent Psychology, 45(3), 335–347. https://doi.org/10.1080/15374416.2014.982279.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  35. McLaughlin, K. A., & Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2012). Interpersonal stress generation as a mechanism linking rumination to internalizing symptoms in early adolescents. Journal Of Clinical Child And Adolescent Psychology, 41(5), 584–597. https://doi.org/10.1080/15374416.2012.704840.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  36. Miers, A. C., Blöte, A. W., Heyne, D. A., & Westenberg, P. M. (2014). Developmental pathways of social avoidance across adolescence: The role of social anxiety and negative cognition. Journal Of Anxiety Disorders, 28(8), 787–794. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2014.09.008.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  37. Muthen, L. K., & Muthen, B. O. (2010). MPLUS user’s guide. 6th ed Los Angeles, CA: Muthen & Muthen.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (1991). Responses to depression and their effects on the duration of depressive episodes. Journal Of Abnormal Psychology, 100(4), 569–582. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-843X.100.4.569.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  39. Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2012). Emotion regulation and psychopathology: The role of gender. Annual Review Of Clinical Psychology, 861-87. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032511-143109

  40. Nolen-Hoeksema, S., & Morrow, J. (1991). A prospective study of depression and posttraumatic stress symptoms after a natural disaster: The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology, 61(1), 115–121. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.61.1.115.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  41. Parker, J. G., Rubin, K. H., Erath, S. A., Wojslawowicz, J. C., & Buskirk, A. A. (2006). Peer relationships, child development, and adjustment: A developmental psychopathology perspective. In D. Cicchetti & D. J. Cohen (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology: Vol. 1. Theory and method. 2nd ed. (pp. 419–493). New York, NY: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  42. Papageorgiou, C., & Wells, A. (2001). Metacognitive beliefs about rumination in recurrent major depression. Cognitive And Behavioral Practice, 8(2), 160–164. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1077-7229(01)80021-3.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Papageorgiou, C., & Wells, A. (2003). An Empirical Test of a Clinical Metacognitive Model of Rumination and Depression. Cognitive Therapy And Research, 27(3), 261–273. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1023962332399.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Patterson, G. R., Dishion, T. J., & Yoerger, K. (2000). Adolescent growth in new forms of problem behavior: Macro- and micro-peer dynamics. Prevention Science, 1(1), 3–13. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1010019915400.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  45. Poulin, F., & Chan, A. (2010). Friendship stability and change in childhood and adolescence. Developmental Review, 30(3), 257–272. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dr.2009.01.001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Preacher, K. J., & Hayes, A. F. (2008). Asymptotic and resampling strategies for assessing and comparing indirect effects in multiple mediator models. Behavior Research Methods, 40(3), 879–891. https://doi-org.proxyum.researchport.umd.edu/10.3758/BRM.40.3.879.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Rose, A. J. (2002). Co-rumination in the friendships of girls and boys. Child Development, 73(6), 1830–1843. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8624.00509.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  48. Rose, A. J., Carlson, W., & Waller, E. M. (2007). Prospective associations of co-rumination with friendship and emotional adjustment: Considering the socioemotional trade-offs of co-rumination. Developmental Psychology, 43(4), 1019–1031. https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.43.4.1019.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  49. Rose, A. J., Glick, G. C., Smith, R. L., Schwartz-Mette, R. A., & Borowski, S. K. (2017). Co-rumination exacerbates stress generation among adolescents with depressive symptoms. Journal Of Abnormal Child Psychology, 45(5), 985–995. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-016-0205-1.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  50. Rose, A. J., Schwartz-Mette, R. A., Glick, G. C., Smith, R. L., & Luebbe, A. M. (2014). An observational study of co-rumination in adolescent friendships. Developmental Psychology, 50(9), 2199–2209. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0037465.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  51. Rose, A. J., Smith, R. L., Glick, G. C., & Schwartz-Mette, R. A. (2016). Girls’ and boys’ problem talk: Implications for emotional closeness in friendships. Developmental Psychology, 52(4), 629–639. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000096.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  52. Rose, A. J., & Rudolph, K. D. (2006). A review of sex differences in peer relationship processes: Potential trade-offs for the emotional and behavioral development of girls and boys. Psychological Bulletin, 132, 98–131.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Schäfer, J. Ö., Naumann, E., Holmes, E. A., Tuschen-Caffier, B., & Samson, A. C. (2017). Emotion regulation strategies in depressive and anxiety symptoms in youth: A meta-analytic review. Journal Of Youth And Adolescence, 46(2), 261–276. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-016-0585-0.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  54. Schwartz-Mette R. A., & Rose A. J. (2012). Co-rumination mediates contagion of internalizing symptoms within youths’ friendships. Developmental Psychology, 48(5), 1355–1365. https://doi-org.proxyum.researchport.umd.edu/10.1037/a0027484.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Schwartz, J. J., & Koenig, L. J. (1996). Response styles & negative affect among adolescents. Cognitive Therapy And Research, 20(1), 13–36. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02229241

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. Shapero, B. G., Hankin, B. L., & Barrocas, A. I. (2013). Stress generation and exposure in a multi-wave study of adolescents: Transactional processes and sex differences. Journal Of Social And Clinical Psychology, 32(9), 989–1012. https://doi.org/10.1521/jscp.2013.32.9.989.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  57. Slavin, L. A., & Rainer, K. L. (1990). Gender differences in emotional support and depressive symptoms among adolescents: A prospective analysis. American Journal Of Community Psychology, 18(3), 407–421. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00938115.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  58. Snell, W. E. (1989). Willingness to self-disclose to female and male friends as a function of social anxiety and gender. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 15(1), 113–125. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167289151011.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. Spendelow, J. S., Simonds, L. M., & Avery, R. E. (2017). The relationship between co‐rumination and internalizing problems: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 24(2), 512–527. https://doi.org/10.1002/cpp.2023.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Starr, L. R., & Davila, J. (2009). Clarifying co-rumination: Associations with internalizing symptoms and romantic involvement among adolescent girls. Journal Of Adolescence, 32(1), 19–37. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2007.12.005.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  61. Steiger, J. H. (1990). Structural model evaluation and modification: an interval estimation approach. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 25, 173–180.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  62. Stone, L. B., & Gibb, B. E. (2015). Brief report: Preliminary evidence that co-rumination fosters adolescents’ depression risk by increasing rumination. Journal Of Adolescence, 38 1-4. 10.1016/j.adolescence.2014.10.0

  63. Tompkins, T. L., Hockett, A. R., Abraibesh, N., & Witt, J. L. (2011). A closer look at co-rumination: Gender, coping, peer functioning and internalizing/externalizing problems. Journal Of Adolescence, 34(5), 801–811. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2011.02.005.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  64. Tucker, L. R., & Lewis, C. (1973). A reliability coefficient for maximum likelihood factor analysis. Psychometrika, 38(1), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02291170.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  65. Twenge, J. M., & Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2002). Age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, and birth cohort difference on the children’s depression inventory: A meta-analysis. Journal Of Abnormal Psychology, 111(4), 578–588. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-843X.111.4.578.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  66. Updegraff, K. A., Helms, H. M., McHale, S. M., Crouter, A. C., Thayer, S. M., & Sales, L. H. (2004). Who’s the Boss? Patterns of Perceived Control in Adolescents’ Friendships. Journal Of Youth And Adolescence, 33(5), 403–420. https://doi.org/10.1023/B:JOYO.0000037633.39422.b0.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  67. Weir, K. F., & Jose, P. E. (2008). A comparison of the response styles theory and the hopelessness theory of depression in preadolescents. The Journal Of Early Adolescence, 28(3), 356–374. https://doi.org/10.1177/0272431608314662.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by a gift from Patricia and Rodes Hart, by support from the Warren Family Foundation, and by NICHD grant (1R01HD059891) to David A. Cole. Julia W. Felton was supported by an NRSA grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (MH079670) during the completion of this work.

Authors’ Contributions

J.F. conceived of the study with D.C., oversaw the data collection, analyzed the data and contributed to writing the manuscript; D.C. co-conceived the study, participated in the design of the study, created the data analytic plan, and provided feedback on all drafts of the manuscript; M.H., G.K., and V.B. contributed to drafting the manuscript. All authors have read and accepted the final manuscript.

Funding

This study was funded by a gift from the Patricia and Rodes Hart Foundation, the Warren Family Foundation, and the NICHD (1R01HD059891) to David A. Cole. The study was also funded by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (MH079670) awarded to Julia Felton.

Data Sharing and Declaration

The study’s data will not be deposited.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Julia W. Felton.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study was conducted in compliance with all procedures approved by the Vanderbilt University Institutional Review Board. All protocols were consistent with national and international ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all study participants.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Felton, J.W., Cole, D.A., Havewala, M. et al. Talking Together, Thinking Alone: Relations among Co-Rumination, Peer Relationships, and Rumination. J Youth Adolescence 48, 731–743 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-018-0937-z

Download citation

Keywords

  • Co-rumination
  • Rumination
  • Friendship quality
  • Peers