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The Relationship between Mindfulness and Uncontrollability of Ruminative Thinking


Using a cross-sectional design, we examined the relationship between naturally occurring levels of mindfulness and rumination in students (n = 164). As predicted, we found that, when controlling for current depressive symptoms and prior history of depression, mindfulness was significantly negatively correlated with rumination, but it was only associated with the extent to which rumination was experienced as uncontrollable, not with global levels of rumination. Furthermore, mindfulness moderated the relationship between global levels of rumination and uncontrollability of rumination, consistent with the suggestion that high dispositional mindfulness reduces the extent to which ruminative reactions tend to escalate into self-perpetuating and uncontrollable ruminative cycles.

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Fig. 1


  1. The present results come from a broader study on the relationship between mindfulness and vulnerability for depression. The results with regard to the association between mindfulness and cognitive reactivity are described elsewhere (Raes et al. 2009). This paper focuses on the association between mindfulness and (facets of) rumination. The results concerning the specific research questions described in the current paper are original and have not been published previously.


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Correspondence to Filip Raes.

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Raes, F., Williams, J.M.G. The Relationship between Mindfulness and Uncontrollability of Ruminative Thinking. Mindfulness 1, 199–203 (2010).

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  • Mindfulness
  • Rumination
  • Depression