Self-critical rumination as a mediator between attachment orientations and perceived stress: Evidence from a cross-cultural validation of the self-critical rumination scale

  • Helena MoreiraEmail author
  • Berta Rodrigues Maia


This study aimed to examine whether attachment orientations (anxiety and avoidance) were associated with perceived stress through self-critical rumination (a specific type of rumination focused on the content of self-critical thoughts). It also aimed to examine the factor structure of the Portuguese version of the Self-Critical Rumination Scale (SCRS) and to present additional evidence on its construct validity and reliability. A sample of 317 Portuguese women from the general community was recruited online. Participants completed the SCRS and measures of self-compassion, perceived stress, difficulties in emotion regulation, and adult attachment. The results of the mediation analyses showed that self-critical rumination mediated the association between attachment anxiety and perceived stress but not the association between attachment avoidance and perceived stress. In addition, the SCRS showed good psychometric properties. Specifically, the scale showed adequate reliability (Cronbach’s alpha was .933 and composite reliability was .932) and construct validity. Significant correlations were found between the SCRS and measures assessing constructs expected to be associated with self-critical rumination (self-compassion, perceived stress, difficulties in emotion regulation, and attachment anxiety and avoidance). Confirmatory factor analyses confirmed the one-factor structure of the Portuguese SCRS. This study identifies a new mechanism underlying the association between adult attachment and perceived stress. In addition, the results of the present study provide further evidence of the internal consistency and construct validity of the SCRS and indicate that the Portuguese version is a psychometrically robust and adequate measure of self-critical rumination.


Self-critical rumination Attachment Perceived stress Portuguese version Psychometric properties SCRS 



This work was funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (Grant SFRH/BPD/70063/2010).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Research Involving Human Participants and/or Animals

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.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of Interest

Author Helena Moreira declares that she has no conflict of interest. Author Berta Maia declares that she has no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Research in Neuropsychology and Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention, Faculty of Psychology and Educational SciencesUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, Braga Regional CentreThe Catholic University of PortugalBragaPortugal

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